We’re Addicted To Judging
How often do you judge other people? And What does judging other people produce for you? Does it inflate your sense of worth or make you feel like you’re better off in life than another? Does it make you feel more pious?
Nothing good comes from judgment; so, why don’t we let it alone? Society and culture are addicted to judging others. We promote judging others and get high off doing it. When someone fails, falls, or makes a mistake, we jump on it and make sure to pour salt into the wounds. Human nature is naturally competitive, which is one of our detriments.
We must not forget, no matter how perfect we think we are, we are filled with imperfection, as are others. And for this reason, we should be careful of the number of our judgments on others.
“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults — unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling-road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.” — Matthew 7:1–5, MSG
As We Learn, Learn. That’s All We Need To Do.
When knowledge comes to us, we can at times experience inflation in our egos. Once we “know” how to live and implement the 7 habits of highly effective people, we are ready to point out what a person should and shouldn’t do. We feel we know best and are the wisest people in the land. But the truth is, we need to sit down and continue learning.
“When philosophy is wielded with arrogance and stubbornly, it is the cause for the ruin of many. Let philosophy scrape off your own faults, rather than be a way to rail against the faults of others.” — Seneca, Moral Letters, 103.4b-5a
Stoicism is a lifelong commitment; there will be times we are weak, and there will be times we are strong. But we are in no place to judge another for their faults because we have more knowledge than them or haven’t made a mistake in a while.
“Remember, the proper direction of philosophy — of all the things we’re doing here — is focused inward. To make ourselves better and to leave other people to that task for themselves and their own journey. Our faults are in our control, and so we turn to philosophy to help scrape them off like barnacles from the hull of a ship. Other people’s faults? Not so much. That’s for them to do.” — The Daily Stoic p 342
When we focus inward, we develop a genuine sense of empathy for others leading to wholehearted acceptance of others. When you realize you are imperfect, you can easily accept the imperfections of others without judgment and strife.
Accept People For Who They Are
The faults of others are theirs alone. Accept the faults of others instead of judging their faults. It is not your place to judge another.
“Leave other people to their faults. Nothing in stoic philosophy empowers you to judge them — only to accept them. Especially when we have so many of our own. — The Daily Stoic p 342.”
We can help others by living a life of virtue, patience, kindness, and stoicism; this is how we can help others. We are not here to dictate how people live their lives; that is for them to do alone with the power of choice.
Accept people for who they are, and instead of judging them, help them pick up the pieces and get back up so they can continue making progress in life. We aren’t better than anyone. We’re all human, and humans are imperfect.
Destiny S. Harris is a writer, poet, entrepreneur, teacher, and techie who offers free books daily on amazon. Destiny obtained three degrees in political science, psychology, and women’s studies. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, or @ destinyh.com