Imagine a person who wears torn clothes. It seems he hasn’t bathed for months. He is screaming and shouting and shooting everyone close to him. When he’s out of bullets, he starts throwing rocks and other stuff to others. He won’t stop yelling and screaming until the cops arrest him. People judge others when they see them.
Who do you think this person is?
Our mind likes to judge about everything but these days we have to stop this impulsive judgment.
Now about that man we described. You probably think he is a terrorist or an assassin. But it takes a few minutes to know that you were wrong when I say he was a soldier in a war.
Now this person who you thought is an assassin a couple of minutes ago will be a righteous man who bravely devoted himself to his country.
What was the difference between these two? Just a sentence.
Let me tell you another example. About two years ago one of our institute friends was acting weird. I was surprised, and I asked for its reason.
He said: “well I see you are doing inappropriate things.” I asked about the reason, and he explained:
“You are a married man, and yet you are so intimate with her, this new colleague you hired recently.
Well, he was right. Now, what do you think of me? You probably say this righteous man who teaches us relationships and ways to be faithful with our spouses is unfaithful to his wife.
But the truth my friend didn’t know was that the new colleague was my sister.
Read “never judge!”
Imagine you see an addict in the street. What do you think about him? Abomination who is terrible for society. But what do we really know about this guy? Do we know how he feels? In what kind of a family he grew up?
Once I heard something interesting from an addict. He said everyone is telling him to stop using drugs. He said: does salt make you an addict?
I said: “no.” he said: “then try not to use it at all for a week. If you could do it, I’ll give up using drugs.”
I’m not saying it’s good to use drugs, but this story has a lesson that we judge too fast without feeling what the other one feels.
All these stories prove that how impulsively we judge others. The reason is that our brain likes to close the case pretty soon. It’s about our ancestors. A long time ago when a cloth was moving on the ground with a blow of wind, people wanted to see what it is? Is it a snake? They had to know if it’s something dangerous because their survival depended on it. They judged pretty fast to run if it’s a snake. This outlook still exists in our brain somewhere. That’s why we have to learn how not to judge others so fast.
1- Can we change anything?
The first thing to do is that we have to ask ourselves whether it’s our business or not. And the worst thing is to judge someone in public.
Judging is an unconscious action. When we see two people talking intimately, we can’t help it and our brain starts judging. What matters is what we are going to do with that judgment.
So first, we have to ask ourselves whether this judgment is my business or not. Does it make the situation better? Does it help the person I am judging or me?
For example, you see an addict in the corner of an alley, and you say: shame on him, look what he’s done to himself?” so does it change anything? There are a dozen judgments like this in your family, work place and with friends.
2- Ask questions
The second way to stop judging is to ask questions to be sure before we say anything.
Once I saw one of my friends in his office. He showed me his secretary and said: do you see her? She’s always talking on her cellphone. Even when I look at her, she smiles at me and gets back to her talking.
Finally, he said: “that’s it. I can’t take it anymore. I’m going to talk to her.”
I stopped him and said: “wait. Firs ask her the reason them blame her.”
He did as I said and came back embarrassed. When I asked the reason, he said the office phone was broken, and she diverted the calls on her cellphone so she answered work calls even when she was at home.
It’s essential to question the person first and then start judging others.
3- Don’t be certain
The third way is not to tell them our opinion with certainty. We can say: “I think it’s …, am I right?” instead of saying: “you are…”
For example, we can say: “I’ve seen you smoking a couple of times, am I wrong?” Instead of saying: “you are a smoker!”
Some important points
1- I am not saying you don’t judge ever again. I am saying we have to be careful before we judge others.
2- By waiting and judging after being sure, we don’t give them the impression that we are stupid and we don’t understand what they are doing. Quite the opposite, it shows we are professional at judging.
Try not to judge others as much as you can so that we can have a better life.