passing judgement

Judge Not

How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey. – Steve Maraboli ~ Life, the Truth, and Being Free

As a human, a person with emotions often worn on my sleeve, I find that I don’t like being judged. Who does?

However, in the past week…or more, I have found myself doing the one thing I try not to do. I have found myself judging another person, making assumptions about another human while not having even the slightest clue what makes them the person they are.

Every one of us are born and from that day experience joy, sorrow, love, hate, happiness, anger…the normal range of emotions. However, some of us also get the added struggle of abuse, addiction, soul damaging heartbreak, sickness of the mind or body, or the involuntary participation in watching someone we love fight their own battle, be it mental or physical.

These parts of our personal history form us, can jade us, and sometimes defeat us. At the very least they can catapult us into a darkness that we might manage to climb out of only to find that the person we once were….is gone. Someone else has taken up residence in our soul and no matter how hard we try, that new part of our personality digs in its heels and becomes part of our permanent make-up.

It happens.

If I sit and wonder what is wrong with the world today I would need to look at my small part in it. I sit in judgement of someone, knowing they have not been dealt a perfect hand in their past. This would be the time for me to take a long, hard look at myself and wonder what gives me the right to appraise this person’s individuality.

We all sin differently.

Truth number one: There are no rules that state that just because you play on the same playground you have to like everyone on it. I don’t have to like all the people. And all the people don’t have to like me.

Truth number two: As long as I get up every morning and try my best to do the next right thing and I can put my head on my pillow at night knowing that I did just that, then what other people think of me…well, it’s really none of my business.

I don’t always get it right. Many, many times I get it wrong. It would be easy for someone to look at where I came from and who I used to be and judge me accordingly. Since I don’t live there anymore, that would be wrong. I have managed to leave that person and most of her shortcomings behind. I say most because I am still a very flawed human but have made my peace with it.

Not everyone has found that peace. I need to be more aware of that and show some grace.

That is, after all, the next right thing.

photo credit: Gavel via photopin (license)

36 thoughts on “Judge Not”

  1. I do my best to live by the idea that the grace afforded you can only be equal to the grace you give… or, as someone once said (was it Bullwinkle the Moose or Paul McCartney?): And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I believe that and I do my best as well but sometimes I flail. (Don’t much care for the word fail.) Unfortunately I am one of the emotional animals and my logical side doesn’t come out to play.

      It was most definitely Bullwinkle…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post, Sandy. When I was younger, my “ability” to sum a person up over the course of a few observations was something I used often. Not until I was older did I begin to understand the dis-service I was doing to others — and most of all to myself by allowing my preconceptions to bias me against people who might’ve been important in my life.

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    1. I know what you mean, Ned. When I was younger I was much more apt to act on my negative, judgmental emotions and well, I wasn’t always a very nice person. I’m thankful to be able to recognize the issue and remedy it these days, before things get out of hand.

      Thank you as always for reading and being so gracious.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A person can get used to being judged…can expect to be judged…can even end up judging themselves accordingly…all it takes is for one Sandy to come along and make it shift for the better. *hug*

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  4. Excellent. I try so very hard not to be judgmental. I try to live by the philosophy of “walk a mile in my shoes” so I try not to pass judgment on people dealing with something I know nothing about. If everyone would just focus on making themselves better people and human beings and stop criticizing others, we’d have a lot more happy people walking the planet!! Great post Sandy. It makes one stop and think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try hard as well, Barb. Sad to be human sometimes, isn’t it?? Considering where I’ve been in my life I certainly do my very best and I agree…what a different world this would be if more people would help rather than hinder.

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    1. It is sometimes an automatic response especially when there is a personality clash. I also find myself doing it as a defense mechanism when I feel someone doesn’t like me…almost as if I need to find things about the person that are negative so as not to feel hurt. Awareness is definitely the key to changing this behavior.

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  5. There is as much harm in being judgmental of ourselves and our shortcomings as well as our judgment of others’ actions. We need to give ourselves and everyone else a break, a caring, compassion, love. As Sarah, said, it comes in awareness in ourselves first, then others.

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    1. I agree, Val. I do tend to judge myself much more harshly than others. In this situation which I wrote about when I realized what was going on in my own head, I let myself have it pretty good. I am finding that I rebound a little more quickly than I used to….recognize the problem and correct it before any damage can be done.

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  6. Beautifully said and so wise. We are all guilty of it. And we all could use a reminder such as this. I think a lot of the judging we do is based on our own shame. I don’t know if I’m right, but it’s got to come from somewhere, right? I don’t think kids are born instinctively judging other kids…

    I love your writing, your blog. I feel like coming here is refreshing. It’s a place of truth and wisdom and full of heart. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, there is no doubt it comes from somewhere. I spent years being judged by others because of my addiction which started in my teen years and after a while I started to believe what others thought of me. That wasn’t me though. THIS is me. This me is capable of acknowledging my shortcomings without beating myself up too badly and recognizing when I need to change my attitude toward someone else. Most of the time.

      That is quite the compliment, Gretchen, and I sincerely appreciate it! Thank you!

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  7. My DA, I do love this, and I completely see your point. I’m too used to being an incredibly judgy person, and have to pull myself up often, because I’m inclined (more so with people I know a little, than perfect strangers or close friends) to sit in pronouncement on them, and I have NO right to do so.

    I also struggle with self-judgement, as you know. And I need to learn to control that.

    But what you said about (and I might have this the wrong way) someone new taking up residence in your soul, really resonated. I think at core perhaps we are the same, or perhaps not, but I need to reassess the person I am and try to figure out what I might or might not like about her, and why she matters. Still struggling at the moment and it’s far easier to love other people and care about THEM, almost as a form of distraction from having to face the issue in myself.

    Still. I’m glad you wrote this, and I’m thankful for your forthrightness and good example.

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    1. I believe that our experiences shape us. Let me speak for myself. As an recovering addict and alcoholic I became very negative and bitter. Life’s not fair, why me…blah, blah….and I spend a good deal of time thinking negatively and judging others because I hated myself so much that in order to survive I had to hate others more. That is still in there and as a flawed human, it can rear its ugly head from time to time but not for the same reasons. I just did it for so long that it became part of my personality. Granted, it is a part that I try not to let out because it’s appalling, but it’s still there. I just have to counteract it with compassion and grace. It pertains to how I feel about myself as well as others. It happens rarely but still more often than I would like. It’s like the old saying…old habits die hard. Does that make sense?

      I’m glad I wrote this. I’ve managed to clear the way for more logical thinking. If it states a good example then that, my friend, is a bonus.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There we differ, then. Because I dislike myself so intensely I can’t figure why anyone else WOULDN’T, so a lot of my motivation to try to make people happier or entertained or to connect, is a kind of desperately anxious attempt to at least alleviate THEIR experience. There’s a huge measure of wanting to be liked and found lovable. But sadly the soul often stays a bit empty because I often feel as though I’ve duped people into liking me – that they don’t know the REAL me – the unpleasant, repugnant one – and would reject me if they did know – and so their comments and kindness and love get sometimes translated by my brain as ‘humouring’ or ‘indulging’, or ‘sweet that they said it and meant it, but really it doesn’t apply’ *sigh*

        THIS is why I need to write about self-compassion.

        I’m glad to have your inspiration and support. Thank you xo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That pretty much sums it up, Dani. We are all fighting something, aren’t we? Granted, sometimes personalities just don’t mesh but that still doesn’t give us the right to judge. Live and let live, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, jeez Sandy! Of course you would write this beautiful, truthful post — right after I posted a snarky Facebook comment and pictures about the situation with a woman who was in front of me at the grocery store checkout this afternoon. It’s like you’re the good angel sitting on my shoulder (and my snarkiness is the devil, sitting on the other).

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    1. Haha! Jana…that post killed me. I’d like to thing that I might have been the good angel on you shoulder but after reading what she did I can’t tell you I wouldn’t have done the same thing. We are, after all, only human. There will always be people that I just have to shake my head at in wonder, whether I’m passing judgment or not. Some people just baffle me so it’s more out of confusion in that instance.

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  9. Loved your logical thinking! 🙂 Glad I stumbled into your blog thanks to Helena for sharing this post in Fb 🙂

    Interesting read. Meaningful too. I needed to read this one.

    Thank you 🙂

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    1. Well, remind me to thank Helena. I’m very glad you found me and I welcome you wholeheartedly! I tend to write off the top of my head about things that are going on in my own psyche, or just plain bugging me, so you never know what you’re going to get.

      I look forward to getting to know you better!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is, sadly, something I didn’t realize I was doing until a couple of years ago and I’m so thankful that I’m aware of it now. It’s not fair to condemn people or judge people you don’t even know based on one or two snapshots of their life.

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    1. It isn’t fair but unfortunately we all do it. Even if we don’t mean to we do, on some level. The human condition is a strange thing. The good thing is recognizing, accepting, and changing the behavior. I’m always glad to see you, Scott!

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  11. Sandy, I am so glad I finally got a minute to sit and read this. I really love these words today. Been beating myself up a whole lot lately about things I have done (still do, sadly) that are less than kind and compassionate – things like making judgments and criticisms where it’s really not my place ever to do so. Your logic is wise – we are only human and as humans, we are going to screw things up. We have to accept that and learn from that and keep moving forward. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you, Lisa. I’m glad to know it made you think. This post could definitely go either way, either judgement of others or of ourselves….or judgement of ourselves due to judgement of others. Any way you look at it, it’s a negative behavior that only we can change. We will ALWAYS make mistakes. Always. It’s how we choose to remedy them that determines our character. Over the past year or so, I’ve gotten to see your character a bit. I think you’re doing just fine!

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  12. I think it is so hard not to judge. I try, to be a person of empathy and a willingness to accept people for who they are. Yet past experience colors how I live today. I love your words and how you capture that we will do better. Because mostly we do good. We just fall once and a while

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