Judge Not..Unless You’re Judging Yourself.

That is the most difficult thing of all. It is far more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself correctly, then you are truly a man of wisdom

Antoine de Saint- Exupèry  ~ The Little Prince

Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself… Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could live this way. The world would be a happier place for a start, and a it would be a world in which we all supported and helped each other to become the best that we could be. Sounds like a fairy tale, and unfortunately it is. We judge others, whether we are conscious of it or not and social media has only made the problem worse.

Judgement is not all bad. It depends on the type, and context. We sometimes judge others harshly because we believe in them and have an idea of their true potential which they are not living up to. So, in this instance, initial judgement is followed by constructive criticism, advice, guidance and help with which we hope that they will realise what they are capable of, and start living up to it. This, however, is the exception to the rule.

We often waste valuable time and energy putting others down, whether that be to justify our own decisions and choices, or lift ourselves and feel better. This is just plain wrong, though. What business is it of yours what somebody else does for a living, or how they dress and how they choose to spend their free time?! Your attention should be directed at your own life, and your decisions, choices and actions. What does this achieve? Negative results. Instead of reflecting on what you have to be thankful for, you scrutinise what others have and kick yourself for not having the same, or more. Judging other people is the surest path to unhappiness and dissatisfaction, and who wants to willingly make themselves feel miserable or jealous?! It makes no sense.

Of course, it goes without saying that the best thing you could possibly do is not to judge at all. After all, everyone has the right to live their own life as they please, as long as their actions and words are not causing upset or distress to anybody else. Plus, we all have our own demons to fight and challenges to overcome. Live and let live. Rather than judging and criticising others, treat them with kindness and compassion. If you must judge, apply that scrutiny to your own life instead.

Ask yourself…Are you where you want to be in life? Are you happy with the person you are right now? If not, what could you do today to change this? Are you living up to your potential? Are you striving every day to become the best version of yourself?

Answer all of the above positively, and you will be well on your way to becoming the best you can be. Chances are that you will have already have started to reap the rewards of your hard work, so your focus will be on continuing your success, and not on what others are doing and whether you agree with it. Basically, if you are regularly reflecting on the above and working hard to improve yourself, you are unlikely to feel the urge to stand in judgement of anybody else. Why? Simply put..You will find yourself too busy focusing on your own life and the impact which you have on others to even think about what somebody else may or may not be doing. Life is a journey of constant learning, growth and improvement and once you realise this, and the potential which you have within you to achieve great things, your only concern will be to develop yourself and to nurture, help and support others to become the best that they can be too.

In a world where we are encouraged to adopt a dog-eat-dog mentality and judge others in order that we might rise above them, be the exception. Focus on yourself, and be your own harshest critic, testing your limits and pushing yourself to find out what you are really capable of. Then lend a helping hand to others, so that they may also do the same.

The only person you should judge is yourself. Your only competition is yourself. The world is a massive place, and there is plenty of room in it for us all to lift each other and become successful

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Judgement. We often don’t realise that we are doing it, but using our judgement to make informed decisons is an important part of our daily lives. Every day, we have countless decisions to make, so we use our experiences, knowledge and wisdom to make the best possible decisions or come to sensible conclusions. It’s a shortcut which saves a lot of time and energy in our increasingly busy days. We use our judgement to determine everything from our grocery shopping list to our interactions with others. It is with the latter, however, that judgement can often let us down. Badly. 

Judgement can be positive or negative. A positive judgement, when we apply it to other people, makes us more open towards them, and approach our interactions with them positively. This, in turn, can open the door to countless opportunities to network,  help each other and share knowledge or experiences. In this way, when we look upon somebody favourably the potential for mutual benefit is immense. Of course, you never approach another person with a view to what you may gain but it is in our nature to help others who we look upon favourably and connect with.

Not everyone is looked upon positively, though. Sometimes, whether intentionally or not, we judge other people negatively before we have even met them. People can be judged negatively for a multitude of reasons ranging from their job title to their lifestyle choices. Worse yet, some people are negatively judged simply because a friend, colleague or family member doesn’t approve of them. This is before there has been any actual interaction. When a person is judged negatively, a door is closed on them and opporrunities are lost.

I was on the receiving end of unfounded negative judgement recently. Looking to buy a house soon, I have taken on a second job in security and work on the occasional evening or weekend. During a recent shift, an employee from one of the larger companies mentioned in passing that he faced working through the night because of an urgent situation. This is because of some issues with an overseas client. While reluctant to divulge too much detail, what he described made me curious as it was what I deal with in a daily basis. In my normal role, I deal with similar situations countless times every day. So, I offered to help in any way I can during my break. Without asking as to how I could help, this young man simply looked me up and down and laughed before saying no. I told him that I have the knowledge and experience to help and am asking for nothing in return. I just fancied a bit of brain stimulation. He simply rolled his eyes and walked away. He looked at me and saw a security guard. Nothing more. Had he asked, I would’ve told him about my regular role and how I could help. His loss. I had tried. It was at this point that it hit me how it feels to be judged on sight and not on merit. I felt gutted, almost dirty, but soon picked myself back up as I am not embarassed about taking on extra work in order to take a step closer towards my goals. He lost out on an opportunity to solve a problem and save several hours of stress on a Friday night. 

Hours later, on a patrol, I saw the young man again. He offered a limp apology as to his behaviour earlier and I accepted. This time he asked why I had offered to help, so I explained what it is that I do in a professional capacity and that security was a second job to help with buying a house. I then explained that I couldn’t help now as i’d worked all day and then rushed to my second job, so was exhausted and going home, leaving him to try and solve his problem.

By judging me on my appearance, this young man robbed himself of an opportunity to get help in solving an urgent problem. Of course, I could’ve offered to help again later but this is the downside of treating others badly for no reason; they may simply be unable or unwilling to help you once the moment has passed. This was completely avoidable.

Exercising our judgement is an important part of daily life. It can steer us away from bad decisions or lead us towards good ones. However, we should set our judgement aside when we first meet another person. After all, everyone you meet has something to teach you, and there is the posibility of bringing value to each other’s lives. This won’t happen, though, if you insist on judging others before you have tried getting to know them. Give everyone a chance. Be openminded. Who knows where your next chance encounter with a stranger might lead?