By Nancy Virden (c)2022
Let’s be honest- we all judge people. It is in the fabric of human curiosity to look at what others are wearing, doing, and saying. We make decisions about all the above based on tradition, bias, familiarity, and those around us who may be expressing the same judgments.
Negative judgments might go something like this: She is too fat, skinny, or dirty. She must not care about herself at all. Truth is, we have no idea what she cares about and we do not know her life.
Another one may be: He works too hard. He does not love his family. Once again, we have no real concept of a person’s heart and motives.
This is where the court session comes in. Place yourself in the defendant’s seat and listen as the prosecutor accuses you of the same things by which you are judging others. For example, if you are critiquing someone else’s parenting, turn it on yourself. “She keeps her kids up too late- what a terrible mother.”
How would you defend yourself from such an accusation? It is only when I get back from work late. We are on vacation and had a wonderful day. We will sleep in tomorrow. My ex didn’t return them to me on time. They just arrived home from a field trip. None of us are perfect parents.
Here’s another one. The prosecutor says, “He’s too liberal (or conservative).” Maybe when you judge others this same way you could try to apply your own defense. I have a right to my beliefs. I am not hating you. I do not want to destroy this country. We are fellow citizens. I want respect. None of us have zero biases.
If you struggle to imagine yourself in any of the scenarios of which you judge others, think of this: It makes sense they would behave the way they do because if I had been given the same circumstances I might make similar choices. It is interesting, if this type of court is applied faithfully, how our views of others improve. We are gentler, more appreciative, and less angry or superior.
It is a type of introspection and honesty that keeps stress lower and the world less scary. Harsh judgments and negative assumptions are replaced with understanding and intelligent insight.
Today’s Helpful Word
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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