Judge Not Others
This is my tenth post in a series, where each Monday (if possible) I will post about a point of reflection or insight that I will use to reflect and meditate on during the week. In order to make it a bit more focused and interesting, I will attempt to do this with topics beginning with letters from A to Z. I have often found that having a specific topic to reflect and/or meditate on during the week really lends itself to interesting insights and growth, because you not only have several days to reflect and meditate on the topic, but you have several days to put any lessons and insights that you discover to work in your every day life. For those that follow me on Twitter (@JasonLivingNow) I will try to write updates as the weekly topics come up during meditations, moments of reflection, or just during everyday life. To view the current and previous entries in this series, please visit the: Reflections and Insights A Through Z section.
J= Judge Not Others: The act of judging another person immediately causes separation between our self, and the other person. Judgment prevents us from acting compassionately, as well as empathetically understanding where the other person may be coming from. It is extremely easy to judge or condemn someone who may be rude or hateful to us; however, we may not know the whole story of that person, we may have no idea the hurt and pain that the person is suffering from. By simply judging the person and condemning another’s actions outright, we are in effect closing the channels of communication with that person, as well as our hearts. By not rushing to judgment, we can show true compassion to everyone, even those who may not practice or reflect compassion towards others.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them” – Mother Teresa
Judgment also hampers our own personal and spiritual development, because judgment is often used as a defense mechanism, because instead of examining ourselves, and rectifying our own faults, we simply point out the faults of others, or bolster our ego by saying, “well at least I’m not as bad as them”, or “I would never do that”.
Now this does not mean that we should be complacent in the face of abusive or destructive behavior. Too often, people use the Biblical scripture Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge, or you will be judged”, as a catch-all excuse to not step in when abusive or destructive behavior demands it. When someone is being abusive or destructive to themselves or others, we should act as compassionately as possible, but not hesitate to step in and make efforts to stop that kind of behavior.
Practical Tip: During the week, if you find yourself judging someone, stop yourself and examine why you are judging that person. Are you projecting your own insecurities or unexamined faults on to them? Are you judging in order to make yourself feel better? Are you judging out of your own ignorance to their situation? If you are judging in order to project your own faults, or in order to make yourself feel better about something, examine the underlying cause or issue that needs to be addressed. If you are judging out of ignorance or habit, try to show love and compassion, and make an effort to understand where they are coming from.
I would love to see your thoughts and comments on judging others, and what you have done to stop yourself from rushing to judgment against others. If you wish to use the topic of judgment as a point of reflection during the week, I would love for you to share any insights that come up.
Please come back next week for the next installment of this series, and as always if you enjoyed what you read, please share on social network sites, subscribe to this site, and share this site with others!
Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)