Saturday, November 5, 2016

Judgement Days

No, I'm not talking about "the end of the world".  In the IE here, we already know there is no such thing.  I am talking about how we judge others and are judgmental.

First of all, it's important to note that making judgments about the people and things we interact with in the world around us is not only natural, it benefits us.

We judge that which we deem has potential to cause us harm in some way.  We learn to identify that which we have judged to be harmful or potentially harmful then we learn more about what it is so that we can better understand the level of threat it actually poses and what to do about it.

That is the purpose of making judgments.  To protect ourselves.  It's an act of self-defense in the preventative.

Having said that, much of that which we judge as "possibly harmful" very often triggers an emotional reaction of fear and uncertainty within us.  This is also normal because physically speaking, feeling fear heightens our senses and prepares us to fight or flee.  Feeling emotions is a good thing.

What is not helpful to us is to let those emotions be in control of our decision making.  We should not allow our emotions to control our thinking.  Unfortunately, that happens far too often and the consequences can usually just make things worse.

It is by using our judgment that we find our behaviors and intellectual responses influenced.  Fear makes us wary.  Fear makes us unsure and unconfident.  Anger makes us intolerant and aggressive.

These are relatively common "knee-jerk" reactions most people have to our emotions.  Our thinking becomes clouded and colored by our emotions and irrational thoughts.  It's all part and parcel of being a physical being and living in a material world.  We rely on limited physical senses to interact and communicate with the world around us and are skeptical if not in outright denial of the non-physical senses we have.

By allowing our emotions to be our controlling response and influence when it comes to making judgments about the people and things in the world around us, we do ourselves and others a great dis-service.

When I judge you as a person, I am not judging your value as a person and your place in the world.  that is not my place.  What I am judging is what kind of influence and effect you will have on me.  How will being involved with you in any way help me, harm me, have little to no impact at all?

I judge you based on how you will affect me as an individual or those I am responsible and care for.  Keeping that in mind, I don't really care about your politics, your religion, your taste in movies or books or sports teams, etc...  If I personally find those "Silly" or unimportant and you bring much attention to those things, I will likely judge you as being equally silly and not likely to be much of a positive or beneficial factor in my life thus avoid you and disassociate myself from you.  That's OK too.

I don't have to be mean or aggressive to you because I don't want to associate with you though.  I do not feel the need to coerce you into behaving like me or conforming to what I like and think of as "Right" or "Good".  I'll pretty much just ignore you and leave you alone.

Every person in the world has issues they are not perfect about.  I admit to being pretty impatient and intolerant of some people myself.  It's not something I am proud of or want others to emulate.  At the same time, I am an imperfect person and as such a creature of habit.  Some of them bad habits.  Habits like jumping to conclusions before I should and dismissing someone because I am not patient enough or tolerant enough to see the person beyond whatever it was they showed me causing me to judge them as willfully ignorant, statist or conformist.

Sometimes in my impatience and intolerance, I fly off the handle with my temper, sarcasm and unfortunately, arrogant dismissal,   I know I am likely to do that.  I try very hard to be willing to admit when I am wrong and do something about it.  I try very hard to try to catch myself before I get to the point of "flying off the handle" and making an ass of myself.  I'm getting better, but I still have a ways to go.

When I judge you or you judge me, it best behooves us to adopt a "three strike" rule because first impressions can often be very wrong and under the least favorable conditions.

It also is in our best interests to forgive.  Forgive ourselves for taking our judgment and allowing the associated emotions and irrational reactions to take us off course of being rational and reasonable people.  I have to forgive myself so that I can move on and try to do better.  If I don't forgive myself then I leave no room to do better because of wallowing in shame, self-pity and the false pride of denial.

I have to forgive you as well because if I don't, I am no longer giving you the chance to show me, if you were so interested in doing so, that you do not mean me harm or ill effect.  I have to forgive you so that I can free you, from my perspective, to be a better person as well.  Otherwise, I will only ever "see" you as that person who did what I never forgave you for.

Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting.  Only a fool doesn't learn from the past.  But learning from the experience allows us to maybe come back  to the situation from another angle.  One in which, being wary, we are more cautious and protective of our best interests.  That's a good way to come back to the table.  For you see, you are still allowing yourself to come back and try it again instead of allowing the one experience to permanently freeze that person and circumstances entirely.

I only become a better person by allowing myself to forgive and come back to the table and try again.  I cannot stop judging others in the world around me and I shouldn't.  What I do about it though is something else entirely.  Just because I judge doesn't mean I automatically have to be jury and executioner at the same time.

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