Judge not lest you be judged
Take the plank out of your own eye first
People who live in glass houses…
Mind your own businesses
Don’t be so judgmental…
There are a lot of similar sayings, in all languages and cultures too, I’m guessing. Just as a thought, and I guess I have thought about these sayings a lot, I don’t think they are about not being judgmental or hypocritical or whatever word you want to use to convey the thought. I think the main idea is simply awareness. Say what? Yep, awareness. We all have planks in our eyes, live in glass houses and love throwing stones. Why? I have no idea. But my gut feeling is simply that it makes us feel better about ourselves. It gives us an arbitrary measuring mechanism by which to judge our own experience.
So is this wrong? I have no idea, probably, probably not, who knows. I think personally that it can be wrong. I think if we act on stereotypes/judgments and let them close us off from one another, then yes, that seems really wrong.
I think we do it so much though that you can’t really separate being judgmental from being human. Why? Dunno. I think it’s just that we like to know where we stand. So, we use all sorts of measurements. They are different in each culture/subculture. Whether it’s fashion, race, age, religion, annual salary or amount of possessions (included in possessions are academic degrees, certifications, trophy-partners etc.) we all have measurements for ourselves and others, in our minds, all the time.
We all recognize it when the judgments are blatant. Example: people who wear those kinds of hats are weirdoes. But, do we recognize it when we say things like, oh well they are old, they don’t get it, or, oh they are just young, they will realize what the world is really like? Or, how about, oh those people of that political party/religion/insert your own just don’t get it, how do they not see that they are wrong?
Judgment. It’s subtle, it’s weird, and it’s human. It’s there, so what do we do with it?
I think being aware is personally most helpful. So, I try to catch myself. If I find myself judging (which I do a lot) I try to ask myself why. I try to discover what it is I am trying to measure about my own experience that is making me so judging. I also assume. I know that sounds weird so I will explain. I assume that people who are really judgmental have themselves been judged and negatively impacted by judgment, a lot. Why? The later simply because it has been my personal experience that those most concerned with being judged are the most judgmental and are usually that way because they have been negatively impacted by some person or group or their own judgment. A lot. And my assumption is a judgment, a measurement I use to ask myself if I am being a decent, civil and loving person. And I try to be aware.
I have been listening to the Mars Hill Bible Church, God is Green series. The series has been pretty interesting. A lot of it is stuff I have been trying to practice in my own life. The best part of the series came at the end, on July 29th. The preeminent piece is all the practical information (in the form of a list of websites and books) on how to make simple life changes for a huge positive environmental impact. So, I thought would reproduce the list here below. You can download it directly from the Mars Hill Bible Church website here.
And now for the list:
• For the Beauty of the Earth by Steven Bouma Prediger
• Saving God’s Green Earth: Rediscovering the Church’s Responsibility to Environmental Stewardship by Tri Robinson
• Serve God, Save the Planet by J. Matthew Sleeth, MD
• Living the Good Life on God’s Good Earth by contributing authors, edited by David Koetje
There is something distinctly beautiful about the desert when it rains. It is always a little ironic. It’s kind of like financiers handing out balloons at an animal shelter. We expect it every year. It is the season that justifies the fact that we call desolate washes, rivers. And they really do become rivers, if only for a couple of days. It usually starts with a lot of humidity and heat. There is some meteorological juju that happens with that combination. And, before you know it, the sky becomes black. We sometimes see lightning, we sometimes hear thunder, and we usually get torrential rains from out of nowhere. The storms don’t usually last long, but while they last, they are vicious. Streets become streams, and as I said earlier, washes become rivers. It’s dangerous to drive. People inevitably try to cross washed out roads and often get trapped. In this situation the best case scenario is, needing to be rescued by the fire department. The worst case scenario is peril. It’s so bad that, we here in Arizona, have enacted the stupid motorist law.
Okay, so the point of all of this is, contrast. I was in Belfast this summer hanging out with some friends. When we arrived the weather was rather warm and balmy. They told us it had been like that for a few days, and that such weather was really odd. We were told that there was supposed to be a change the next day. Sure enough, the next day it began to rain. It continued to rain for the duration of our stay. It was that second day however, that was really remarkable. I guess because it had been so hot previously that when it began to rain, the ground wasn’t ready to receive it. Consequently, they had what we refer to as the great flood of Belfast. It was so bad that a friend of ours had to be rescued by firemen. I had left the windows open at the house we were staying, the house of our friend Jayne. I had met her the day before and thought for sure that I had destroyed her house. Rest assured that her house was not ruined.
This week we have been enjoying a pretty good monsoon season. Now, note that I am a native to Tucson. I have seen my share of monsoon storms. So when I say this year we have gotten some decent storms, it means something. Twice this week my street has become a river. It has been nice. So, at last we come to the anti climax of this narrative. I wanted to share some photos with you. Enjoy. All of these photos were taken outside of my home near the University of Arizona.
So I promised Ben that I would upload some photos of the cookout we had outside of his home. Don’t let him fool ya, he can cook a mean steak for a Finn! we also had grilled figs filled with chocolate, very interesting. Oh and notice that even in Finland weber is the only way to grill.