The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Judgment Of Other People
Judge Others As You Would Be Judged
To judge someone or something is to form a firm opinion about the person or the object. When it comes to impressions, getting to know someone, forming ideas or thoughts about a person, we are only acting like human beings. It is in our genetics, in our behavior, and in our mind to judge people based on appearances, how they act and behave, what comes out of their mouth or from their opinions, to how they treat us, their weight, or what they put in their mouth, from food to cigarettes, and alcohol. Making judgments against people and things are how we cope and understand how to react and respond to them in the future.
We even go to the movies and judge million dollar movies based on whether we would see them or not, even though we really know nothing about the movie. We do not really think about it, but we make judgments about people and things all day, every day, and we do it as if we are responsible for the object or for paying the person’s bills and want to change them because of it.
Whether we know them personally or they are complete strangers to us, we are judging people. We judge our family members, though we almost often accept them no matter what. We judge our friends and acquaintances, maybe making suggestions for how we would do things. We even judge our co-workers and our boss, thinking about the way we would do things if we were in their shoes, or if we were the boss. We judge people based on the way they cook a meal, how they eat it, and how clean their house is. Judging people is an unannounced and unintentional hobby that we all are so comfortable doing. What gives us the right to judge? Why are we so self-entitled to make silent judgments?
Our judgment comes possibly from within of ourselves wanting others to be similar to our own self, though if this were the case, we would actually find a way to critique and criticize that as well. Unless we are doing it ourselves, looking out at our hands from our eyes, and doing it the way we believe is the right way, our way, we will never be satisfied with how someone else is doing something.
It is also part of our need to categorize and organize everything and everyone, making labels in our mind, and putting people under those labels. Skinny. Fat. Funny. Nice. Dumb. Stupid. Smart. Kind. Gentle. Loving. Caring. Small. Big. Short. Tall. Young. Old. Kind of funny. Kind of cute. Kind of hot. Ugly. Rich. Poor. Black. White. Asian. Jewish. Christian. Muslim. Everyone we see or come into contact with somehow manages to be processed in our minds under some category as if they are being filed away into a folder, as if we are going to use that data every time to know how they are, and to continue to process our judgements upon them with each and every interaction, or opinion we have of them every time we think about them.
Our own parents do it to us, as they teach us how to do dishes, laundry, clean, bathe, etc. After years and years of annoyances from our own parents, we still never get it right, until one day, we have children of our own, and we do the same exact thing to them, show them how to do things the way we were taught by our parents! Only then do we actually get it right, or so we think we have it right. That is, until our parents come over to see their grandchildren and point out that we are still doing it wrong!
It is very rare that something someone else does ever comes out perfect, though if we do not know that particular thing to begin with, we assume it is perfect. For example, many restaurants have a signature way of doing things, from setting the table, to serving, to their mannerisms, and clothing. We assume that they set the table right and do things accordingly. The only people who may judge beyond this way of doing things, outside of their own homes, are those with OCD and other obsessive qualities.
You can excuse yourself though because everyone else is secretly making silent judgments about you too. Your friends and family, acquaintances, and co-workers, as they walk past your unorganized desk or you unkempt kitchen, with the three dirty dishes in the sink. Seriously, you had to leave those dishes there? Disgusting. Kidding, I’m not judging you. Okay, I am, you really could have done those dishes before you left the house, but I accept you just the way you are, and if you want to leave those dirty dishes in the sink, it’s your house, isn’t it? Not mine. I have no right to judge you. You have to live with the consequences of leaving those dirty dishes in the sink.
I, for so long, have been judging everyone just as much as everyone else has been judging me and everyone else has been judging each other just the same. I fall into it and I still catch myself doing it, but for what reason? Am I trying to be better than someone else? Do I not like them because they are different than me? Would I like them if they were the same as me? Do I want someone to live like me? Do I want someone to eat what I eat? I might share my experiences and what I eat to live a healthier life, but should I judge anyone for not choosing to live the strict lifestyle that I live? Should I judge someone based on their music choice if it is not similar to my own? That would be hard, as I am very open to listening to many different genres of music. I do have the right to silently judge, but just because I have the right to my opinion, it does not mean it should be shared with anyone, especially if it is negative and harmful to someone else.
In my efforts to cleanse myself of making a judgment, I continually remind myself that everyone gets to live the way they want to live and has adapted to a specific lifestyle after living and experiencing this Earth. They have adopted ways of life, eating habits, behaviors, and this all happened over many years, from coming across many different people, and they have become shaped into who and what they are today. When someone crosses my path, I might be able to influence someone for the better, but I cannot expect someone to change because of me overnight, nor can I expect them to change at all, nor should they ever have to do so on my account.
The truth is, no one really has any right to judge you, as you get to live your life as you want to live it. As long as you are not hurting someone else from living the way you want to live than live as you please. If you want to get tattoos on your body, you can rightfully do so, as long as you are of legal age, though you should definitely think about the long-term consequences of tattooing certain areas. If you want to smoke or drink, that is your personal habit. However, when you do drink, so long as you do it in the comfort of your own home or in some place where you are not bothering someone else then feel free to do so. Once you get in your car, drunk, you deserve to be in jail. In that instance, I will judge you harshly.
If you want to practice a certain religion, so long as you do not harm anyone else, you are rightfully free to do so. If you want to travel and be homeless for a few years then that is the amazing part of your adventure in life! If you want a house with a wife and kids then you are on that path in life! If you do not want children or a wife then you are free to live that life! There are some people who eat to live and there are others who live to eat, but if you want to eat because you love food so much then that is your own wondrous experience! If you live to make money and that is all you can think about then that is your personal goal in your own life! If you want to live just to help others and money doesn’t matter to you then you are a great soul for helping others and that is your own personal choice!
Not everyone wants the same things in life and not everyone has the same interests. Everyone is unique and different in their own way. Everyone has something unique to offer to the world. Everyone has the freedom to live and experience the path that their soul is on and they get to make the choice of the journey in life they want to take. So who are we to judge each other, knowing that life is not easy for the majority of people?
More people than not have to work for what they want in life and they go through a lot of struggles, trials, and tribulations along the way. Life can be very challenging and may require sacrifices along the way. We can never understand the personal experiences someone has been through, even if they tell it to our face. If we were to follow in their footsteps, we might have a slight understanding of what they have been through, but we will now have our own personal experience that no one else can ever know.
When I lived in Israel, teaching Ethiopian Jews, I listened to many of them tell their story of migrating to Israel, especially the older Ethiopian Jews, and younger ones who were now adults and could remember, traveling across deserts to get to the Holy Land, losing family members along the way, sometimes going to sleep and waking up to missing family members, who were either detained in imprisonment camps, were killed, kidnapped, or died along the way just to make the trek from Ethiopian oppression into the freedom of Israel. I sympathized with those who told their story and it was so heart-breaking that it brought me to tears, but I could never, in a million years, know the pain and sacrifices they faced to make it to the land of Israel.
We have no right to judge any person on this Earth unless they harm another soul, and in that case, they have given up their right not to be judged. We are all on this life journey together and sharing the world together! We all have our wealth and wisdom of stories to tell that no one else could ever know. Stop judging! Stop the judgment! You are who you are and everyone else is who they are! Most of us, thankfully, all get the freedom of choice to live how we want to live and we do get to exercise the right of making a judgment, but that does not mean we should. Live how you want to live and give everyone else that freedom to do the same thing!
Once you begin to embrace this thinking without judgement and train yourself to stop judging others, your mind will be free to do so much more and experience a world beyond judgement! You will find that the less you judge others, the less others will judge you. Enjoy life for what it is and enjoy the people who are alive and trying to find their own missions and trying to accomplish their own goals in life! Live life to the fullest without judgement!