My Life · Opinion

On Judging Others

Isn’t it easy to judge people.So very easy!!

But how accurate do our judgements end up being, how close to reality do they stand?

Last week we were going to a mall and near by the entrance stood a man.He looked forty-ish, was well built for his age and wore decent dress.In his hand he held a placard which read “Everybody needs a little help sometimes or the other”.

I read the placard, looked at the man and was too quick to conclude “What a lazy bum, why can’t he do some real work and earn his living.He surely must be some boozer or an addict looking for an easy way out!”.

The man smiled at me as if he could read my mind, touched his cap and wished me a good afternoon.

As I walked in to the shop, I kept thinking.How quickly I jumped into judging him?What did I know about him?What if he was under a circumstance that did not allow him to work?What if he needed the money badly? What right did I have to judge him when I knew nothing about him? If I was in his place, there was a fair chance that I would have ended up in a worse state!

I felt bad, bad for what I did.Helping him or walking away was my choice.

But then I could have walked away without attempting to conclude about what he was and what he deserved!

How many times have I done this?How many times have I reminded myself that nobody had bestowed the right of judging others on me?

Months back I read a newspaper article about a Mother of four who forgot her youngest baby in the car .The mother realized this when she went back to pick up the baby from the day care in the evening.When she understood what had happened, she dashed to her car and found her baby not breathing and still!
A heart breaking story indeed. My first reaction was “Ah..what a careless woman.She doesn’t deserve to be a mother.How could she forget her baby?Her baby?”

But then who was I to pass such a comment?

I did not know her.She could have been a wonderful mother, a warm person. With only one kid and much lighter life conditions, I myself struggle to manage my daily routines. I could imagine her daily plight.

In one unfortunate moment of her life she did forget her child.That might have been a moment of grave mistake ,a the wicked game of the fate.Yes ,may be she would live to regret that action every moment for the rest of her life.But does that negate all the good deed she might have done all her life, all the care that she might have given to her kids, the love that she might have showered on all her friends and family ?
Is it right to judge her based on the darkest episode of her life? Are we perfect ourselves to be doing that?

The bible says

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you”

I close my eyes and try to rewind all the scenes of my life.I see embarrassing images, some deeds that I would never dare to confess to anyone ,lest myself. How many dark thoughts, negative feelings do I find in my heart! It is impure, so far from being perfect!
If I am to be measured with the measure I use on other people, what would the end result be?

How often do we hear only one side of a story and rush to a judgement?Our prejudices, our misconceptions usually leading us to paint a person exactly opposite to what he/she actually is!
An obese person is so because he /she is lazy and careless!
An actress/modal who exposes too much is a slut!
Any action of a celebrity is a publicity stunt!
A person committed suicide because his family did not care for him enough and he/she did not appreciate his/her life enough!
All politicians are corrupt!
A child ends up spoilt because the parents were too busy to give their child appropriate attention!
A woman who preferred to abort her child is a heartless beast….and what not.

How often do we pause  to consider their side of story before rendering them guilty?

When a person responds coldly or doesn’t seem to be as courteous as we would like him/her to be,don’t we readily conclude that he/she is a snob or a strong headed person!But who knows? May be there was a personal tragedy, may be it was a bad day or simple, may be he/ she is just a plain introvert!

“A person is great and dear to Him who treats equally his friend & foes, respects and cares for all (without expecting any return), does not judge, mediates (wishes well to both the opposing sides).”
Says Bhagavad Geetha.

Judging a person’s action must be the most difficult thing in the whole world.Every action could be looked at from a million points of view.Every action could be misunderstood from another million points of view. How righteous do one have to be to understand what was the real cause and what triggered an action!!

“I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. God is the ONLY one who can judge humans”
Says a quote in the mighty Quran.

We all have a life to live. In the course of living we, in our own ways, need to try to touch a few others’ life. We must try to make a small difference to this world, remaining within our own limitations and problems.I am yet to figure out how to do that. So let me first judge my actions , let me find a way to transform them  into their much poised and kinder selves.

I believe that no one has imparted us with the tedious duty of analyzing every single thing that is happening in this world and concluding whose fault it was. We are just a meager part of this whole mighty big picture. How can we interfere in things we don’t even have an idea about?

Just like when a painter starts to paint his masterpiece, every brush stroke might have a purpose.The spectators might render some of those moves as senseless, but then the only the painter knows what he is going to paint, only he has visualized the finished painting. We can never understand the real beauty of each stroke without getting to see the completed piece, can we?


15 thoughts on “On Judging Others

  1. Very nice, thought-provoking post!

    I find it amusing when people sometimes attribute non-existent or wrong motives to my actions.

    The example of the man near the mall entrance is apt, particularly because you knew absolutely nothing about him!

    The struggle to be non-judgemental is a constant one. Even non-judgemental persons can slip into judgemental mode once in a while.

    1. That is a great way to look at things….realizing that want we actually are doing is judging others would definitely give us a space to ponder that we are actually doing something that was not our job in the first place

  2. I totally agree with your post! It’s annoyingly easy to be judgmental and the worst thing is, we all do it, even if in spite of ourselves. The thing to keep in mind, according to me, anyway is (like you said): it may not be their fault that they are the way they are, be it obese or corrupt or whatever! But what is even more important is, to remember that while it may even actually *be* their fault, it is definitely none of my business!

  3. Lovely post, highlighting the importance of the need for all of us to be open minded and more importantly open hearted. If only more people were like this in the world, it would be a much better and a much more peaceful place to live in, wouldn’t it.

    1. There is a big difference between writing about it and actually practicing it..I do try to restrain my judging tendencies, but then there are circumstances where I still do it, and then repent later…. :)..Thanks for reading

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