Judge Not

Listen carefully. You can hear it in conversations. You can see it in pop culture. You can even hear it in your own thoughts. Judgment is everywhere. Society influences and encourages it. It’s become as natural as walking and talking but judging and condemning others is a detrimental flaw that can only lead to close-mindedness and lack of empathy.

If I were describing someone to you and I used these words, what thoughts or perceptions would come to mind: gay…….Muslim……dark skinned……GED……cashier?

Be honest with yourself. Do you instantly paint a picture of who this person is without ever having met or spoken with him or her?

Race, sexual orientation and identity, language, skin tone, facial features, hair, culture, gender, age, bank accounts, weight, height, education, political affiliation, religious affiliation, job titles…..any label or can possibly fathom carries with it a judgment at best, a stereotype at worst.

We judge people based on our own life experiences, opinions and biases but when you really think about it, who the hell are we to judge anyone for anything? We are all naturally flawed creatures and each time we judge someone else, we make a revealing testimony about ourselves. Often times, that revealing testimony is rooted in ignorance because we’ve not taken the time to truly get to know about what we judge.

My call to action is for all of us (myself included) to be more mindful and intentional in gaining understanding BEFORE we judge, condemn or criticize each other. Let’s not allow labels to give us an instant assessment of someone’s character, heart or mind. Let’s not assume or jump to conclusions or allow first impressions to be lasting ones.

Author Doe Zantamata says it best, “Its easy to judge. It’s more difficult to understand. Understanding requires compassion, patience and a willingness to believe that good hearts, sometimes choose poor methods.   Through judging, we separate. Through understanding, we grow”

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