“I think that my job is to observe people and the world, and not to judge them. I always hope to position myself away from so-called conclusions. I would like to leave everything wide open to all the possibilities in the world.”
― Haruki Murakami
I wrote about Being Slave of Money around a month ago.
(To get the most grip of the post, it would be better if you read that post first and then continue reading this)
There I wrote about my cousin brother who is running madly behind the idea of money and is possibly leaving behind all the possible essential things behind- like relationships, being happy, being content or just living. And how is miserable. And cocky. And arrogant.
That was a month ago.
And after following the concept of Minimalism for almost another month and after failing in keeping up with it many times or so, I realized that I was wrong.
Wrong not in the idea of that post, wrong not in the intention behind the post, wrong not behind the thought of the post. I still believe that no-one should blindly run behind money.
But I was wrong because I judged.
Is judging itself bad? No, not really. But it is definitely a symptom of something that can be harmful.
I am saying ‘harmful’ and not ‘bad’, because rather than judging it to be good or bad, I prefer to observe it.
I realized that I am very ignorant of my brother is going through.
I realized that in a way I am stating that I am superior to him which I am not, I am being extremely self-centric.
I realized that I don’t understand the situation completely. I never can because I am not him.
I also realized that I am setting expectations from people. Unrealistic expectations.
I am not being curious as to why the other person is behaving the way he is, I am just judging him and dismissing him.
Also, I realized that I am not really helping him. And, I cannot help him too because I have already judged and dismissed him.
And I am kind of frustrated and unhappy with the way the other person is behaved.
It also affected the relationship with him because once you judge, you generally see the person in only that light.
I am unable to help, unable to take what the other person has to offer to me as a person. Among many such other harms.
And now, just replace my example with the countless time you’ve done the same with some other person. Fill it with spouse, lover, brother, parents, friends, strangers. Anyone.
You’ll notice the same pattern, mostly.
The question emerges-
How do you let go of Judging people?
The first thing to do will to be aware of that you’re judging.
Just be aware that you’re doing it.
Don’t judge yourself for it, don’t get angry on yourself.
Just know that you’re doing, that you’re judging.
That you’re indulging in an activity which is harmful, for others and for you.
This takes practice. This takes extra awareness. To know that you’re judging. To see it as a flag of something harmful.
There are symptoms which will tell you that you’re judging- if you’re complaining about someone, gossiping about them, dismissing them as a person.
Identify the symbols and know you’re judging. Recognize them.
After recognizing, try to understand why you judged in first place. Why? Be curious. Ask questions like-
How much do I know about the person?
Can you guess what other person is really going through?
Are you setting an expectation which is unrealistic?
Can you fit in other person’s shoes?
Can you imagine a time when you went through similar times?
Ask these questions.
Then ask yourself: How can I help?
At many times, people need someone to listen, someone who accepts them without judging.
Someone who can sit beside them and look in their eyes and talk with them. And appreciate them for who they’re.
Sometimes, they need more: advice, guide or a hug.
But I’ve realized something that you can’t help them from the place of judgement. It is only when you accept them. Appreciate them. Be empathetic towards them can you really help them. Be curious about them. Not before.
I realized that I’ve judged my brother soon.
I went to meet him one day and talked with him.
It took him a while to open up as himself.
But he did and he told me things.
Things like how he recently had a break up, things like how he has a will to support his parents, things like how he is tired of being obese and not having true friends. Things like how he goes to parties just so that he find some people who will accept him.
I just listened. Intently, curiously and with empathy.
And after days, I saw him happy.
As it turned out, all he needed was someone to listen and appreciate for who is and what he is.
And I felt happier in the process.
Try it next time. You’ll change lives.
Not only of others but of your own.
Other Awesome Reads-
A Simple Method to Avoid Being Judgemental– Zen Habits
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