To be truly non-judgmental, stop being judgmental about those who are judgmental

 If we are judgmental, we make snap judgments about people. We blame them for actions that were almost inevitable for them given their circumstances which we didn’t know and didn’t bother to know. On understanding how we misunderstand others, we resolve to become less judgmental.  

Unfortunately however, the judgmental mentality still sneaks in. How? By creating within us a new judgment system, wherein being non-judgmental is the supreme virtue and being judgmental is the supreme vice. We self-righteously criticize those who aren’t as non-judgmental as we are, for they are committing the cardinal sin of being judgmental.

What we rarely realize is that we too are committing the same sin: we are being judgmental about how judgmental they are. To be truly non-judgmental, we need to stop judging them too. Instead of blaming them for being so judgmental, we need to better understand their backgrounds. Maybe they grew up learning only a black-and-white picture of reality. Maybe even after growing up, they were never exposed to a wide variety of experiences, especially experiences that brought them face-to-face with reality in its many shades. Even more fundamentally, maybe they have minds that can see things only in black-and-white or not see anything at all. Maybe trying to see shades of gray will confuse them so much as to make seeing even black and white difficult. Maybe being judgmental is the only way they can navigate the complexity of reality. Maybe we need to be more non-judgmental about their judgmental attitude, just as we try to be non-judgmental about other people’s various other limitations.  

Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (16.02) states that godly people are averse to fault-finding. To become godly, we need to stop finding faults with everyone, even those who can’t stop finding faults with everyone.

 Think it over:

  • What is wrong with being judgmental?
  • When we resolve to be non-judgmental, how does the judgmental mentality still sneak in?
  • How can we stop being judgmental about those who are judgmental? 

***

16.02 Nonviolence; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquillity; aversion to faultfinding; compassion for all living entities; freedom from covetousness; gentleness; modesty; steady determination; … [– these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature.]

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5 Comments

  1. Hare Krishna Prabhu.
    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

    I find your insights of the utmost value, helping me strengthen my foundation in Krishna consciousness and by inspiring me to see through the infallible eyes of sastra. Thank you for taking the trouble to share these gifts. In turn, they give me the confidence to be able to share Krishna consciousness in a way that is mature and personal.

    Wishing you all success in the mission of Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga,

    Your servant,

    Vrinda devi dasi
    Scotland

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    • Thank you, Vrinda M, for your appreciation and good wishes. Your kind words inspire me to continue my small service to Krishna with redoubled vigor.

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  2. JAPA guides your judgements

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  3. Question: Should we not judge others [people/communities/countries] at all based on their attitude, behavior, mindset, actions? Wouldn’t it present a clear danger by giving them too much benefit of doubt?

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