I recently got a bit real in a blog post. One of the comments has received quite a bit of attention: “And while we are on useless wastes of energy, lets talk judgment. If you partake in it, stop it. How can you even begin to think you know better than someone when you have no idea what is really going on in their heads or their hearts. (And if you think you do, stop that, too!)”
Judgment is a tricky business. We all partake in it on some level, with certain people and particular situations with a general sense of knowing what would be the “right” thing for someone to do in that situation. Frankly, I have had to work on this one my whole life, always feeling a bit “righter” than the other person.
Have you ever heard the quote: “Anger is like drinking poison & expecting the other person to die.” (questionably attributed to the Buddha)? I feel the same way about judgment. When you judge someone, you are only harming yourself.
I had an interesting experience years ago that nipped much of my judgment right where it needed to be nipped — in the butt. I need to preface this story by saying I was raised by a very impatient driver. If you drove too fast or too slowly, you received a few nasty comments from my parent. And God forbid you cut him off! I carried these traits to my own driving.
Well this story involves a very pregnant lady (me) and a very nervous father-to-be (my husband) driving to the hospital to have our first child. I was very close to having this child in the car (she was born 12 minutes after getting to the hospital — just wanted to assure you that it ends well) so my husband drove like a crazy man to get us there. He drove 80 mph on the highway (thru rush hour traffic — pretty sure he cut a few people off although I wasn’t paying much attention) and went through red lights when there weren’t cars around.
THEN two days later on the way home from the hospital, with a brand new baby girl in his car, this same crazy man drove 50 mph with white knuckles on that same highway. People were whipping past us like we were standing still, often honking and brandishing a finger, and only one.
You know my response? I giggled. I still remember that moment of deep clarity when I realized those people had no idea, none, what was really going on inside our car. How our lives had been deeply transformed on a profound level and that shift was being demonstrated through my the way my husband was driving.
And you know what? We don’t know what is going on inside someone else. Even when we think you know, we really don’t. We all have our struggles, our own inner turmoil, our challenges that sometimes only we see. We need to remember that that inner turmoil in others sometimes it shows up as inappropriate comments or rude behavior or even illegal behavior. Sometimes it is pure meanness and spite. All we can do is keep love in our hearts and compassion and remember that sometimes it is us who is brandishing the knife.
I enjoy finding just the right photo for my posts, the one that precisely represents the feeling I want to get across. I loved this one because this is what judging does — it is disturbs your peace and calm with a crash! It is tumultuous and painful and it harms only you.