Friday, April 18, 2003

"Don't be judgmental."

You hear this pretty often. We live in a world that is afraid of being judged and, yet, quick to judge.

I used to be a very judgmental person. I could list for you the flaws in any person, idea, place, thing, action, or sitcom. The problem with this, however, was that I was usually right. And people didn't want to hear it. Who among us likes to have their sitcom idea judged harshly?

Certainly, not I.

After losing Rosa, I realized that my rush to judgment pushed a lot of people away. I was losing friends, even family. So, I decided to rethink the speed at which I judged. I realized that, often, I was so quick to find flaw that I missed what might have been right or, barring that, the method in the mess. And, so, I decided to hold off on judging, if just for a little while. Mind you, this took over a year to do. It was then, however, that I realized what I'd been missing. What was that?

Very simply, who gives a shit? "Oh, he shouldn't have spent all of his money." So what. It's his money. "Oh, those two people shouldn't be together." So what. They're not you. After a while, I realized that just because you can judge doesn't necessarily mean you should or that you need to. After a while, I decided to try to be a lot less judgmental.

The world around me, however, being full of other people just as judgmental as I ever was, continued to judge me. You shouldn't smoke. You shouldn't drink. Rosa's wrong for you. You should support the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis. You should do this. You shouldn't do that. blah blah blah blah blah....

Okay. So, not everybody understood what I tried to keep in mind. And, whenever people judged me, I thought back on when I would judge them and I figured it was a wash. Anyway, when someone judges me it gives me pause. Are they right? Why aren't they? Should I listen? Are they completely full of shit?

So, keep in mind, dear friends, what it means to judge. We all do it but nobody likes it done to them.

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