Thursday, April 25, 2013

The A to Z Challenge: J is for Judgment

Are you judgmental?  Answer honestly.  Do you ever judge someone based on how they look, what they say, what they do or how they dress? 

Do you tend to assign labels to people and make certain assumptions about them because of a label or two they might carry?

Do you make assumptions about a person's intelligence based on how they talk or dress, their job or where they went to school? 

Do you fundamentally dislike others simply because something about them or a belief of theirs differs with yours? 

Who has the right to judge any of us? 

Are we wrong to judge ourselves? 

What do we base our personal judgments on?  Usually it's based on our frame of reference.  Our perspective.  Our personal beliefs.  As if we are the epicenter of all that is right and good with the world.  If others disagree with us, we tend to make a judgment about them or their personality as a negative quality for them.  

Why? Why do we feel the need to judge others? 

Answer:  EGO.  In judging another person, we are in essence, making ourselves feel better about who WE are and what WE believe. 

It's a slippery slope.  We rarely take the time or due diligence to discover all the 'evidence' and truths of a situation before making that judgment call. 

This past week in Boston has illustrated this quite well.  Assumptions were made about the bombing and the supsects.  Speculation and hearsay was taken as fact or publicized, without first checking to see the validity of the information.  Social media was abuzz once again with people of certain ethnicity being terrorists,  judging an entire region of the world based on a few 'bad apples'.  This was even before we knew who the suspects were and what their heritage was!  Assumptions were made and very heated and angry words against not just the two who did this, but the people who shared their ethnicity and faith. 

People made judgments about their parents.  How dare they say their kids were framed!  Well, none of you are their parents are you?  How do you know what or how they feel?  How do you know what information they had?  Did you tell your parents all the stupid stuff you did in high school and college?!  They are half a world away, and rightfully have their back up because of what so many Americans are saying about their people let alone their own children.  I'm not saying they are right or wrong, I'm just asking you to put yourself in their shoes. 

Look at how many people wanted to deny the suspects their rights as US Citizens regarding being taken to trial?  They are legally and rightfully US citizens.  They are entitled to the same rights we are.  We are all here because someone in our lineage was once an immigrant.  We all belong to the same 'club'. 

I think what we need to collectively do a better job of is being mindful.  We need to stop and think before we speak and before we act.  We need to make sure we have the facts from both sides before we make an assumption. We need to understand why we are saying what we are saying and be aware of who our comments are really about.  

It's fine for us to have our opinions and to express them.  Constructively and with kindness.  There is a difference between and opinion and a judgment.  We can amicably agree to disagree. 
Unless you are a Judge in a court of law, we should not be passing judgment on anyone. 

Like so many things, it's easier said than done.  Remember, when someone rubs you the wrong way, it's not a message about them, it's a message about YOU.  Learn from it.  Grow.  Change.  Be a better you.  Model a better way to relate to others. 

Be the change.  Start by saying no to judgment and yes to informed and respectful choices. 

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