inTo clarify what I am referring to, passing judgment onto someone is to look down on them, seeing them as somehow not okay. This is obviously different from having “good judgment”.
Also, separating a behavior from the person doing it and seeing the behavior as negative while having compassion for the person, is not judgement.
So for the type of judgment we are talking about, there is actually no good; there is only bad and
Of all the harmful things in the world, one of the worst, I think, is judgement. One of the reasons it is so harmful is because it is everywhere. Wherever there are people, you will find judgement. Another reason is because it is so insidious.
Individuals judge others. Individuals judge themselves. Groups judge others. Races judge each other. Countries judge each other.
And the result is conflict everywhere from an intrapersonal to interpersonal to a global level. There is hatred of one’s self, hatred of other persons, hatred of groups and types of people who are different in different ways, and hatred of nations, resulting in war and bloodshed.
Judgement of one’s self is the root cause of shame, which can lead to a whole host of suffering, including depression, anxiety, isolation, substance abuse, behavioral problems, problems with the law, and suicide.
Judgement is the root cause of all types of discrimination, whether over race, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever.
Judgement is the root cause of exclusion, bullying, and inhumane treatment of others.
Judgement is dangerous because people often feel self-righteous, not realizing that whatever they are judging is not as bad as the judgement itself that they are taking part in.
It is also dangerous because, as we said, it is so ubiquitous and insidious. I have more than once caught myself being judgemental of people because they were so judgemental! Or once a person becomes attuned to how much self-judgement there is, they may fall into the trap of judging themselves for self-judgement.
Feeling judged, whether it is from within or the outside, creates a noxious feeling of feeling unacceptable. That’s why it can lead to a lot of misery. And when people act out of that ungrounded state, it definitely does not bring out the best in them. They may react in some form of anger or violence towards others or themselves, or may withdraw or isolate.
Judgement is a product of the human ego, which is by nature insecure. Looking down upon someone else at an unconscious level makes us feel better about ourselves. The ego is very good at potentially using any difference in order to do this. Because we all have an ego, and are thus all prone to judgement, we need to be on a constant watch for this destructive activity.
When we are grounded and know that we are okay, acceptable, and loveable, just as we are, we no longer need to judge. We can notice things and behaviors that we don’t prefer, but we can keep those separate from the people involved. Where appropriate, we can feel compassion for the people rather than judgement. We can enjoy feeling the reality of our equality with others, not needing to feel the inferiority nor the superiority of the ego.
I believe that the world is full of well-meaning people. Yet what a mess we have made of things! The reason, in my opinion, is that there is too much ego and thus judgement operating. If everyone only stopped being as concerned with others’ wrongs, and really focused instead on trying to keep themselves as free of judgement as possible, the world could be a much better place.
Common wise aphorisms expressing the same sentiment:
Live and let live.
Vive les differences.
From the Bible: Take the log from your own eye before you worry about the speck in your brother’s eye
So humbly practice compassion for yourself and for others, and enjoy feeling the truth of your equality with everyone. Nobody is perfect, including you, and that is okay.