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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