Judging

“Everyone judges constantly: positively judging one person is the same as negatively judging everyone else; it is to say that that person is superior in some sense.”
Criss Jami

I looked up the word judgmental in the dictionary, there are generally two meanings. One has to do with making judgments. The other meaning of judgmental has to do with being overly critical in an unhelpful way.

Judgment is what we add to our understanding when we make a comparison between how things or people are and how we think they ought to be. So, in judgment, there is an element of dissatisfaction with the way things are and a desire to have things be the way we want them to be.

It does not mean we have to spend our free time with someone who talks more than we would like or who does nothing but complains about their life. But we can make the choice about whether to be with them without judging them. When we do, it feels good; it has that peaceful quality of letting go of clinging to the way we want people to be.

As for people we do not know. Maybe the woman I saw has a medical condition that results in weight gain, or maybe she eats to deal with uncomfortable feelings. Perhaps the man was wearing the only jacket he owns. Judging them did nothing to ease their suffering, and it certainly did not ease mine.

Try this experiment; Think about some person who annoys you in some way. Can you let them be the way they are without preferring them to be otherwise?

Judging is such a well-ingrained response that I hardly notice when I am doing it, so I know I have a lifetime of conditioning to overcome. But it is worth it because when I do not judge, I feel the benefits in both my mind and my body: I feel lighter and more peaceful.

“How often it is that we set ourselves in the high seat, judging others, not having read their book but merely having glimpsed the cover.” 
Richelle E. Goodrich,

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