If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Teresa
Our perceptions about people have an unusually disproportionate influence on how we deal with them, how closely we interact with them and how much of confidence we have in them. Be it our own countrymen or be it dealing with foreigners, we have our biases that keep triggering our senses at regular intervals and which acts as a filter to ensure that we are communicating to suit the circumstances and the personnel involved. The net result is that we convey a feeling of suspicion, make the counter party wary and lengthen the process of establishing relationships. Ironically most of our biases prove to be negative in nature and woefully wrong which makes us feel sheepish and embarrassed.
The problem with most of us is that we have our own skewed logic that is based upon hearsay, opinions and personal prejudice which results in us judging people all the time. When we judge people the natural tendency is to look at people as prone to being deviant, problematic and difficult to deal with. This negative mindset offers us the luxury of being excessively vigilant, deeply suspicious and probably resentful of the other without feeling guilty, since we see it as a protective mechanism to shield our life and liberty. By the time we realize our folly some connections have been disturbed, many opportunities lost and most interactions have become stilted. Relationships take a lot longer to flower than what would have if we didn’t let our judgment cloud our senses.
Look at the beggars, the marginalized, the poor and the sick and ask yourself what thoughts come to mind. While we begin to feel sorry for them, we quickly summarize that most of them can easily earn a good living by hard work but prefer to be lazy and eek out a living by being parasites feeding of the rich and the hardworking people like us. None of us would have ever cared to talk to them, understand their plight or even bothered to smile at them. In fact we go out of way to shun them lest they take our goodness for our weakness. The problems of the mentally challenged and those in prison are even more acute because we fear them, conclude that they do not deserve to be set free in civilized society and wish that they be shown mercy by a quick and painless death. While all of us proclaim to be epitomes of LOVE, we are selective in choosing whom to love and we are very clear about maintaining our distance from those we natural prefer to shun.
While it may be difficult for us to remain unbiased and completely rational, we need to accept the fact that we can with some willpower and by suspending judgment be more pragmatic about those unfortunate people around who crave for love and affection. The challenge for us is be honest about our true feelings and biases and become aware of that influencing our rationality. Do you pass judgment on your parents when you get upset or angry with them? True you may hate them for a brief period, you may wish them to change to your way of thinking but you never stop loving them. What the world needs is for each of us to judge less and love more and automatically the world will be an oasis that for all mankind.
Remember: “We judge others by their behavior. We judge ourselves by our intentions.” Ian Percy
- Can you recollect at least 3 instances in your life when you felt wrongly judged and possibly punished for no fault of yours? How did you feel about those times? Was it the unfairness or the humiliation or the fact the culprits went scot free that hurt more?
- When you watch some of the reality shows like a Musical reality show or a Dance show or a Talent show are there times when you feel the judgment was biased or wrong? Do you think you are competent to make that observation? Ask yourself if you are being biased because of some remote connect with the participant eg. She is pretty or he shares the same name as you or he /she hails from your neighborhood.
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