Do you like this flower? Not liking or agreeing with something or someone is not a reason to judge. In fact if our goal is to change it then I think it is necessary to choose our words more carefully. Choosing is not judging. Judging really only works in a Court of Law (most particularly and only a secular court without corruption which I refer to as a “court of reasonable fairness” ).
I try not to negate others, neither their ideas nor their opinions unless it harms me or another who has asked for or needs my protection. I cannot speak nor observe “most people” as I have met and known less than 1% of 1% of 1%of people. Therefore I speak only on behalf of Brad and only based upon my experience. I do not extrapolate in order to manipulate others to my way of thinking. Others are free to think and choose as they wish. I will persuade, I will discuss (even animatedly) but always I concentrate more on listening and learning as I believe we are all the same. So when our opinions differ there must be a viable reason for it and I choose to go on a voyage of exploration of it. Whether or not others share my opinion does not lend creditability to it, it merely defines it as more common. It was common to think the world was flat prior to Greek astronomy. That belief, held and shared widely, had no impact on the truth, the world continued to operate as a sphere held in place by gravity.
In my experience however, most of the people I have met avail themselves of all and any information to the extent they want and need too. We generally do not change our opinions or thinking unless there is some personal gain. That gain can be as simple as the joy of learning. Sometimes in the absence of information we can choose to fill the gaps with conjecture described as facts or information without proof of same. However, in reality, in my experience, information often does not change opinion which is really driven by our emotion. When we choose to phrase our comments negatively or cast aspersions upon another then we are not “observing” or “choosing” we are judging. Unless it is within a court of reasonable fairness (based upon published laws where due process is followed and evidence must be presented, examined, questioned and then either refuted or accepted) our judgement is driven by our emotional issues. The harsher the judgement the more significant the emotional issues. Our choices do not require judgement. Our choices are much more challenging, they require thought, analysis, belief and commitment. No wonder it is often easier to judge…smile.
So how can we escape “judgement” and move into choice and compassion? I would say practice the three guidelines of letting go of judgement. I call them CAN meaning you can do it and I practice them as much as I can:
- Celebrate diversity.
- Ask until you understand the belief, where it originates from and what benefit it serves.
- Notice the similarities not the differences between ourselves and others.
By applying these three guidelines I have developed more deeply and experience more of the life I want to live. Live the life you love.