Humans are meaning making machine. What we don’t understand, we can’t make meaning of, we are afraid of that. We dislike that. That is the root of judgement. We want to box that thing or person. That gives us comfort. The moment we judge something, box it – either good or bad, we are reducing it. This is the moment we are losing our power and compassion.
I am glad to be aware of this. However it is extremely difficult to practice it sometimes. Especially with my shadow.
Shadow are the characteristics which are the parts in us that we haven’t yet accepted. Parts in us that we don’t like. When we see those parts in others, it evokes strong reactions in us.
When I see someone being disrespectful, being angry, being violent. I get scared. It evokes strong reactions in me. Reactions of fear and disgust. Often I fail to stay with my fear and hurt. It is very painful. Thus I start hating them. I judge them. I judge them ruthlessly in my head. This takes me even more away from them.
In my head, I have reduced them. The hate and disgust resulting from the fear are so strong that even when they are behaving very nicely with me, I would ignore them.
I am getting aware that, I fail to make meaning out of their behaviors. The lack of meaning, my lack of understanding of their behaviors, my inability to accept them for their behavior all that scares me. This makes me rush to make conclusions. I fail to remain curious about their behavior.
I am unable to separate their behaviors from their identity. I extrapolate few of their behaviors as their whole identity. This is precisely the definition of judgement.
A behavior is made an identity. When our colleague gets angry in bad mood, we infer and induct, he is a jerk. When a kid is being nice, we infer that she is manipulative. When a black person is being loud, we infer that he is violent.
This is exactly what happened with poor George Floyd. Both the lady and the police person failed to remain curious about him. They jumped to conclusions even when there was no provocation from him.
Judgement is the beginning of prejudice and hate. That is how I make sense of the world. That is how I make myself feel safe. I wish I get more aware of my need to make meaning. My need to feel safe.
I am aware that judgement is just one way to protect myself. The other way is to grow myself. I wish I can embark on growing myself rather than reducing others.