Off late I have been sitting a lot at home, watching an unhealthy amount of Television and with a heavy heart, I have to tell you that I am not ashamed to judge all those people I see.Regardless of the show- be it about dancing, singing or a melodrama- I comment about their talents, the direction and even the story line.
You don’t seem surprised. Why?? Because everyone of us is guilty of this pleasure. Of making snide remarks about people, especially those we do not know personally. Because judging and carrying preconceived notions about people we never hope to meet and interact with in real life means we don’t have to deal with a phenomenon created when society and culture evolved- ‘guilt’.
The “Thou shalt not judge” is actually a variation of a quote attributed to Jesus, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged” (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37). But that is an unrealistic thing (like most good advice and most things in the bible).
Judgement would have protected our more non-human ancestors from running away from their food without eating when they saw a predator lurking in the grasses. Judgement would have helped our more recent ancestors to stay away from certain areas or decide where they should camp. Judgement would have helped them sow certain kinds of seeds and helped decide whether they needed to co-operate with the neighbouring tribe or not.
For a long time I maintained that I didn’t easily judge people. I like to think that I predicted a person’s behaviour based on my previous interactions. But while I like to insist that I am this epitome of nonchalance, I care too much about too many issues to successfully be non-judgmental. Yes- the kind of judgement we hold for different people will be different and because of that, you might judge me too. But I have now made peace with the idea. I like to think that as we grow older-the rebellion is shed off like the skin of a reptile albeit with painful realization that the idealism that we stuck to all these years is growing into the hypocrisy that we loathed so much.
Like all emotions-human beings have been conditioned to control or hide them so I have decided that I will make a difficult choice to wait for all data that can possibly be collected and be open to changing my inference. But until then I will try not to let the Judgemental me get in the way of the slightly Bohemian yet mostly pragmatic me.