So easy to say and so much more difficult to do. Judging others is something we have all done to boost our self-esteem. Judging others is the lazy person’s way to boost self-esteem. It requires no work on your part − no growth. What is more, it has the added bonus of feeling “good”, as blaming, judging, being right are things your ego loves above all things. However, this is an empty response; you stay in your comfort zone, and you learn nothing. You stay stuck within an ever smaller circle of comfort. Judging others, something we are all guilty of, is a waste of time. Focus on yourself; where you have power and a certain amount of control.
Here are some ideas that might help you to understand why it is pointless:
- You are working on incomplete information − You do not know what is going on in their lives − their suffering, their story, their problems. The very best that you will ever be able to do is compare your insides with their outsides. Clearly, this is not a good basis for any judgement
- We dislike in others that which we dislike in ourselves − When you find yourself judging someone harshly, ask yourself honestly: is it something that you also do? Would you like to be judged as harshly?
- Do not judge by appearances − We rush to judgement based on how someone is dressed or what car they drive. We have a terrible tendency in our society to blame the poor for being poor. I cannot think of anyone who would consciously choose poverty over wealth. I have travelled extensively around the world and my experience is that poorer people are much more generous than the rich. Years ago I got into a conversation with an unassuming, tatty old man who was not so well-dressed. After we had been talking about forty minutes, I discovered that he was one of the owners of one of the world’s largest corporations.
- Be respectful toward all − Treat all people with respect, including your enemies. You simply have no idea as to what is going on in their life or in their heart. I have seen so many people who are twisted, angry and spiteful toward someone they consider an enemy. They only make themselves sick and unhappy. Treat everyone with respect.
- Tolerance and consideration − Everyone is different. It is sometimes difficult to understand the beliefs or behaviour of another. Some people seem to act crazy. If you cannot understand someone, if someone seems a little crazy and you cannot understand them, then don’t waste time ruminating on them; instead focus on yourself and your own problems.
- Everyone is struggling in one way or another − When someone makes your life difficult, remember that they are usually acting out of their own pain. (No one acts to hurt another unless they themselves are in pain.) Never underestimate the pain or suffering of another. Why not give the person the benefit of the doubt?
Social media is all about pumping up ego. It encourages ignorant and hateful people to judge. It often brings out the very worst in people.
Instead of rushing to judge others, focus on yourself, your own growth and your own problems. Be prepared to step outside your comfort zone. Growth is uncomfortable but worthwhile.