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.