Judging people says more about who you are than who they are.
One of my neighbours in Toronto used to walk her dog in a stroller. I always thought that people who did this are ridiculous. Until that one day when I had a talk with the woman on the elevator and she told me that her dog is old, blind, and sick. I almost wept.
A woman running on the beach while talking on her mobile phone. Who does that and why? Well, when your daughter is mentally challenged and you got the chance to leave her at home for an hour by the time you exercise yet still need to reassure her over the phone if she's afraid, you CAN do that.
The young boy you bullied and hit on the head after school has a rare form of brain tumour.
The girl you and your friends made fun of on the beach because she had no boobs had her breast removed at 23 because of cancer.
The friend who's always tight on money has a secret gambling problem.
The previous examples are simple reminders that we rarely ever know the big picture. Therefore, judging people based on what we can perceive with our limited senses becomes a futile, superficial, unhealthy habit.
Because we never know the full stories, we never know what people went/are going through in their lives. Yet, we are always quick to jump to judgmental assumptions based on what they do — such as their behaviours and actions — or based on their past, or even on their appearance.
However, the information we possess about those we judge is usually lacking, which makes us oblivious to why those people do what they do or have done what they did. Or as Carl Jung truthfully put it: “Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.”
When we judge, we use our own standards to do so. We sort of forget that, being humans, we too have faults and imperfections and are constantly making mistakes. And to feel better about ourselves, we focus on the different kinds of faults, imperfections, and mistakes in others and we judge them.
You see, the outside world is a reflection of the inner one. The projection is merely a mirror. We are always projecting our internal thoughts into the physical world. People don’t realize that in most cases how they feel about others is principally determined by their feelings towards themselves.
That said, when people are unconscious of their own dark sides, they tend to project the darkness outward onto others and condemn evil in them. By doing so, they justify the evil in others without ever admitting, or perhaps even accepting, that the evil exists in them too. When thoughts, motivations, desires, or feelings cannot be accepted as one's own, they are dealt with by being placed in the outside world and attributed to someone else. This the basis of Psychological Projection.
Further, when judging becomes a compulsive preoccupation, like the case with some, there is no time left to live one's live or to grow through it.
The truth is, the impressions we form and the conclusions we jump to are largely affected by our own past experiences. Because, again, the outside world is a reflection of the inner one. In most cases, the process happens subconsciously.
So for example, a child who had witnessed a heavily-tattooed man commit a crime may grow up fearing all heavily-tattooed people, without making the connection or understanding why. That's how the subconscious mind is powerful; that's why it's the true pilot in the equation.
If I have one wish, it would be for humans to have an innate ability which allows them to view a 30-second video-like flash from the day of everyone they deal with, beginning from the moment they get up in the morning till the time they interact. So as you're about to open the window and swear at that lady who cut you off in traffic, you are instead reminded by how this single mother of three has a tough life between taking care of her dying mother at the hospital and picking up her children from school.
I think this would be enough for us to live in a more loving, empathetic, and less judgmental world. For more understanding always means less fear, which in turn means less judging.
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