Friday, January 3, 2020

Friday Feature: Not Judging

In The Big Chill, Jeff Goldblum's character, Michael, remarks on the importance of rationalizations, saying, "I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations."

I would argue that same is true of judgments. Despite the Biblical exhortation to "judge not, lest ye be judged," most of us make multiple snap judgments on any given day, not just of others, but of ourselves as well. 

"Oh, she so should not be wearing that!" 

"I can't believe I just said that."

"Well, that was stupid."

Sound familiar?

Regardless of the "that" in question, we quite often have an opinion on it. We could argue that, if we keep our opinions to ourselves, we aren't hurting anyone.

Or are we?

Very often, the judgments we heap on others resemble those we pile on ourselves (and vice versa). Over time, they take a toll on us, our favorable judgments building us up and our unfavorable judgments tearing us (and perhaps others) down.

In a recent post on her Aesthetics of Joy blog, Ingrid Fetell Lee writes about these judgments, as well as how to stay joyful amid the judgment that sometimes seems ubiquitous and never-ending. One of my favorite passages from her post is this one:
"When people want 'what’s best for you,' they are using their own standard of best, which might mean safest, most secure, with the least struggle. But your own definition of best could be wildly different." 
What is your definition of best? Are your judgments of self and others paving your path or putting boulders in it? Navigating the path to success is challenging enough without getting in our own way, but eliminating judgments is a tricky process indeed.

Perhaps the first step is simply catching ourselves in the act.

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