Don’t be too quick to judge
In many ways, the fear of what is different and misunderstood is at the root of many violent physical and psychological acts.
"If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context. It’s that simple," writes Devon Price in Laziness Does Not Exists. As an example, they address homelessness, and write, "For many, it’s easier to think homeless people are, in part, responsible for their suffering than it is to acknowledge the situational factors."
In other words, we judge others because it's easier to believe people are responsible for their circumstances.
It's worth highlighting a few things about judgment:
The act of judgment without attempts for a deeper understanding of the context of what or who is being judged seems too easy; one might even say, lazy. It requires no effort on our part. It's like sitting comfortably in the bleachers yelling down at the players on the field about how they should do better and how in the hell did they miss that.
I do, however, believe Devon Price is on to something. Much of what we do makes little sense without proper context. In any case, all behaviour makes sense; not all behaviours are acceptable.
Perhaps it’s not about laziness. Digging deeper, we can start to recognize that being in judgement of others takes us externally, away from the struggling parts of ourselves and from the need to acknowledge what is really triggering us. It requires a great deal of courage and strength to reflect on our reactive behaviours before defaulting to pointing fingers.
We judge based on what we see, yet there's so much more we do not see nor understand.
How can we stop letting ourselves off the hook? By adopting a smidge of curiosity, we get a chance to develop new perspectives and expand our understanding of how things really are.
First, we must work to catch a glimpse of our jump-to-conclusion reactions about someone or something.
Second, we shift our internal monologue.
Instead of: What's wrong with that person!
We might try: What might be wrong with that person?
Sense the hint of curiosity, a subtle change that opens up a great deal for discovery.
One person can't know everything, but every interaction we do not understand is an opportunity to learn, reflect, and grow.
That awareness is like a muscle; the more we flex it, the stronger it gets.
Let's get curious.
And stop defaulting to judgment for what we can see and explore curiosity for what we do not see.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.