I have been listening to an amazing speaker "Brene Brown" who is a qualitative researcher in the area of social work. She became very well-known after her Ted Talks on the topic of shame. What I loved about her message was that she spoke as an intellect, meaning that her message was more objective than subjective, or more simply said, it was information that was based on facts that were qualified as to their validity rather than just a popular opinion that resonated with the masses.
After listening to numerous seminars, audio books, one part really stood out for me, and is was the conversation on why we judge others. During her research, what she had discovered the "judgment" was an occurrence when someone in our world happened to be doing a bit worse than ourselves at that very moment. The judgment was a reaction to the behavior of another, and as Carl Jung so wonderfully stated "that which irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves". If we were in a good place, we would not have the impulse to throw another under the bus as if to elevate ourselves in our own mind. Unfortunately, in the era of 24/7 living we can often lack empathy for others due to living by the seat of our pants, so quick judgments of another can often be the norm. I recall one day during a series of trips along a certain section of town I was quickly judging the people walking along the street, determining their social value from the seat of my car. I was shocked when I realize how unbidden the judgments were, one after the other the judgments flew, type casting everyone I passed.
I processed this at the end of the day and was disturbed at how quickly I had gone there. I decided that the next time I drove that route I would be more present and as I drove along I wondered about the life of the people I passed, did they have children, where did they work, what kind of hobbies did they enjoy. The more present I became to the sea of humanity I'd encountered, the more I felt a sense of kinship and empathy for the people I met. There was no longer type casting based on gender, physical stature, race or financial status, there were just people just like me, making their way through their the day the best they could. Don Miguel Ruiz stated in his book, Living a Life of Awareness, “ every time we judge others, we self-judge ourselves for not being the perfect model of perfection”. Only though introspection and self love are we able to free up the energy of pretending to be something we are not, and we are given the choice to accept ourselves for who we truly are, people doing the best that they can with the resources that have.
C. David Gilks Your Fellow Traveler
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