We all have tendencies to be judgemental; it’s a part of our natural make-up. And this includes me! Yes, even lately I found myself getting angry at Beverly Ada Osu, one of the Nigerian representatives in the Big Brother Africa 8 The Chase. Like, why would she make out in the house when she knows the whole of Africa is watching? Why wouldn’t she consider her family members who are probably so ashamed of her right now? This is totally whorish and unacceptable. Blah blah blah like that. You know what they say, talk is cheap (…well, only with Etisalat).
Not until recently did I realize all you need to do to correct this attitude is to take an honest inward look at yourself. The things you’ve been through, places you’ve been and the roles they played in shaping your life and actions, how people perceive you because of these actions and how you wished they’d see you differently because you actually think you’re different; and then tell yourself that just like you, everyone has a story…good or bad. Doesn’t matter that some are oblivious of their own story because they haven’t been able to put together the interlocking tiles in the jigsaw puzzle that is their life, we can’t deny that their life is a result of several causes.
Makes me remember this book, by Tim Lahaye – ‘Why you act the way you do’. But you best believe our actions are more about our background and life experiences than temperaments or zodiac signs.
There’s so much that comes with the (sinful) human nature, but thankfully, we have the ability to shape ourselves to what we desire. Being judgemental majorly involves jumping to conclusion and forming opinions based on limited information or isolated behaviour. We never pass judgement with full evidence.
Take a minute to imagine a Law Court where the judge passes judgement without thorough analysis and evidence of the case…
Doesn’t look good to me either. The jails will be filled with so many innocent people who end their term and come out bitter at life.
We judge people according to their looks and actions. Then you find yourself looking down on people like you’re so much better. (Here’s hoping psychiatrists recognize this as a symptom of being delusional soon..or have they?) There’s no reason to think I’m better than anybody or anbody is better than me because I’m not them and they’re not me. There’s no basis for such comparison really!
*inserts Tuface Idiba’s ‘Nobody Holy Pass’ track in background*
“Never look down on anyone unless you’re admiring their shoes.” – Unknown
Sometimes we judge ourselves too. An example is, times when your inability to achieve a particular task makes you conclude that you’re a failure in all things. This level of negativity injures your self-esteem and stops you in your track if you ever had plans to progress.
Most times we judge without making efforts to understand. From personal experience, every time I’ve made an effort to interact and know more has left me happier than if I had left with my assumptions.
If you ever catch yourself about to be judgemental, step on your brakes real quick, even if its last minute and you hear the screeching sound. Stop, observe, and think hard before you respond.
Understand people, putting their background and the present situation into consideration (that’s a lot of work right? Have that in mind next time you feel the need/right to pass judgement) It’s okay to have opinions, but it never does anyone good to be judgemental, neither the ‘judger’ nor ‘judgee’. (Look, don’t judge me, blame it on the Accounting background).
Accept people for who they are. (The world would be such a boring place if everyone acted the same way anyway) If you think you can’t deal, your choice should be to walk away, rather than try to change them. If you show someone love in their seemingly undeserving state, they soon feel the need to act better. Just like the character of God, who loved us while we were yet sinners. He asked us to come just as we are. Change is easier in an environment of love.
Being judgemental takes away your ability to love, limits your tolerance level, and deprives you of possible true connections and social relationships. But if you would judge less, you could learn to have less expectation, end up with fewer disappointments and you’ll practically ooze kindness.
Judge less, love more. It’s a win-win situation. You make people happy, you are happier for it.
I’ll leave you with a quote and bible wisdom;
“Be curious, not judgemental”- Walt Whitman
Matthew 7:1-5; Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.