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Stop the Judgments

September 24th, 2012

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This week I have been thinking about how quickly we tend to judge others, either by their behavior or their looks.
It is interesting to reflect on the different, sometimes masked, ways of judgment that we engage in.

The definition of judging is: "forming an opinion about something or someone". Although, we are certainly entitled to have opinions, we need to be careful when forming them about other human beings.

judgement

Some of the common ways we judge others are:

  • When we label them (as bright or dumb, pretty or ugly, winner or looser, etc.)
  • When we want to prove them wrong
  • When they disappoint us, because we expect them to be or do what we believe is correct, right, fair, etc.
  • When we take things personally (we believe others want to hurt us or harm us)
  • When we try to change others to fit our needs and expectations

The list could go on and on, we are often judging others whether we realize it or not.
The other day I came across a phrase that I really liked:

"In order to understand someone, you need to walk a mile in their shoes"

This is so true!! We often believe we know someone, and therefore judge them or expect them to be a certain way, and this is true especially with the people closest to us: our parents, our spouses, our kids; but it is also true with co-workers, public figures or any other person that crosses our path for that matter.

The truth is, we cannot possibly pretend to know someone else so well as to judge them. It is even hard to know ourselves fully, let alone others.
As my grandma used to say: "we see faces, we don't know their hearts" So, we should be extra cautious when we judge people, especially if our judgment towards them is negative.

Human beings are such a complex mix of genetics, beliefs, circumstances, environment, etc. that we can't even begin to comprehend why some people are a certain way or do certain things, and it is not our job to judge them.
If we do judge, as it is sometimes inevitable, we should judge people's situations rather than judging the people themselves.

We can also start by practicing kindness and compassion towards others, we should accept others as they are and refrain from judging them, true acceptance is an act of kindness in and of itself. We can also practice compassion by trying to understand the reasons behind people's acting, if we find it to be wrong.

"Whenever possible, practice kindness; and remember, it is always possible." -  Dalai Lama

Also, the less we judge others and the more we accept them, the less resistance we put into our own life and the easier it flows. It is not always easy, but it is liberating and rewarding, plus, we can find great inner peace by refraining from judgment.

As a mother of two, sometimes I forget that my kids, even though they are still young, they are each a unique individual with already a personality and an essence of their own, that I need to respect and cherish. It is easy for a parent to get caught in the frustrations of parenting and judge their kids or make them wrong because they don't act the way we would like them to, or they are not who we expect them to be...

So lets make an effort to stop the judgments in all their forms and start practicing kindness and compassion towards others!

Have a great week!

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