There are a lot of virtues that we want to have in life. We know that these are directly related to our physical, emotional and spiritual well being.
Similarly there are vices that we always wish we could stay away from. The list of vices keep increasing with advancement of technology. Today, addiction to social media or stalking someone in the virtual space can also be considered as vices. They are as problematic as Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy or Pride.
One such Vice that I have been wanting to get rid of is “judging others” or “being judgmental”. A comment passed on a person randomly, a thought in the mind about a person based on his/her clothes, hair, walk etc. I have come to a conclusion about a person (in my mind) even depending on the breed of canine that he has as a pet! How absurd! But isn’t that something that we do all the time?
Recently when a celebrity “just friends” decided to make their relation public, we had this discussion in many WhatsApp groups about how they did/did not make a good pair. It happens all the time in media. It is their job and it sells like hot cakes (or should I say hot online offers) and they make money out of it. And it happens because people, who are already judging every other person is trying to get pointers to prove the judgement that they have already passed.
I sent a message to a group about what I thought about the couple. As soon as I did that, I had this moment of realization. Why am I judging them and their relationship? I just decided to stop it. I did not take it any further from there.
I was walking in a park that evening. I saw people in all sizes, shapes , hair styles and with different breeds of canines as pets. Viola! I did not have that little running commentary in my head putting them into various boxes. I just kept telling myself “I don’t want to judge anyone” . And it worked!
I am happy to share that I am able to become non judgmental of people, situations and relationships by just telling myself that Judging others is a vice that I want to steer clear of. It is an ongoing process/effort and I am game for it.
Why was this vice bothering me so much? Here is the answer:
When I am judgmental of others, I am clearly telling myself that it is Okay to be this way and not okay to be that way. I don’t spare myself either. I keep judging myself vis-a-vis the standards and yardsticks that I have maintained in my mind for judging others. I keep rejecting or accepting me as myself accordingly.
For example: If, in my mind I have told myself that a person with short hair is smart, then I don’t give myself a chance to grow my hair long. I get very irritated if my hair has grown long and I am not able to make time to go and trim it. I am limiting myself to a person with short hair. Probably I may look better with hair grown longer. But I am completely blind to that probability and will not give it a chance. This is a very small example of how my judgmental criteria limits me.
And this is exactly why i wanted to get rid of this vice.