“Thou shalt not judge”

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.

 

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10 thoughts on ““Thou shalt not judge”

  1. Majoe June 15, 2014 / 12:30 pm

    Interesting way to put it…………………but why should we be afraid of holding ideals? What else is there to work towards?
    That we should not be judgemental is akin to Karm karte jao, phal ki chinta mat karo. Impossible and human beings to do, but satisfying ideals to work towards. Or are they? can we achieve those ideals and still be human?

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  2. Abey June 15, 2014 / 7:29 pm

    Most of us wouldn’t be ourselves if we weren’t judgemental. Just a part of human nature as mentioned. Would be wrong only if malice is an essential part of it. Otherwise it is just the way we form opinions. We really do need to be judgemental if we are to have any character

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barnali June 16, 2014 / 7:06 pm

    To be critical and judge mental is humane nature……but not many are self critics or are judge mental about themselves…It’s very easy to pass remark (sometimes snide)…but none of us actually try to assess the conditions and the situations…..that’s why our ancestors have shown us the path of meditation and atmanirikshan….which certainly helps us to evolve as a better human being if not the best…But I appreciate your thinking on this topic at this age and expressing your views….Keep it up…Love and blessings…

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  4. Iodine June 16, 2014 / 8:57 pm

    Judgement doesn’t always mean snide remarks.To put it in a positive way, it can be considered as a means of self improvement, as it gives one the oppurtunity to analyse oneself, and challenges oneself to be better and do better

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    • meghamajoe June 17, 2014 / 7:34 am

      True, but sometimes whether everyone being different individuals probably has a different definition of judgement, threshold for judgement and so on. Hence the world is filled with the bigots that I may hate and you may not, the people I may adore and you may abhor. Just one of the many things one has to navigate- being a social animal and all. Thanks once again. Thinking is the only thing that keeps us relatively sane.

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  5. Kakoli Dutta June 16, 2014 / 11:06 pm

    Nice articulation, Megha. Who are we to judge a person when we do not know the person’s full story? Each of us have our own life’s story. Even the Gods wait until the last day to judge. It is indeed true that as one ages, our judgemental nature falls away slowly. What we need to gain is the wisdom of discrimination.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. vinith Sankar June 18, 2014 / 11:05 am

    The Essence :” 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. “..sort of judgmental ;)!!…keep writing!!

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  7. Neeru June 19, 2014 / 11:48 am

    Well written piece Megha. We judge almost as easily, as naturally as we breathe, sometimes, consciously, mostly unknowingly. Problem arises when we act on the judgment unthinkingly. I think age and experience, and in most parts, self analysis, has helped me take a step back and look at how I perceive and act on things I automatically judge.

    But, let’s not be harsh on ourselves. After all, the world would be a boring, too perfect a place to live in if we didn’t form quick judgements or held our vitriolic tongues 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Prashant Pimpalekar July 13, 2014 / 8:41 am

    Good one! I myself am guilty of the crime 🙂 (Judging others, making quick opinions). But that’s ok, as long as we don’t pass our assessment /observation / opinion to them!

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  9. Vivek Bopiah August 3, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    Humankind has always been judgemental primarily so decisions can be made. The caveman had to do so just so he can feed, protect and decide for himself what he must or not do. Evolution has led us to be judgemental so we can be successful in a competitive world.
    I do understand your concept of being non judgemental so we do not get into conflict situations in a limited way.
    I am sure you would be reading all comments which your readers have made ‘judgementally’ !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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