Letting Go of Judgment in The Time of Coronavirus
(6th in an ongoing series on “Acceptance in The Time of Coronavirus“)
I’ve always struggled with being too judgmental of others. I’ve worked a lot on being less so, but it takes constant awareness—not only that I’m judging, but also how it impacts my overall well being and serenity. (More on that later)
I’ve noticed that my inclination to judge others has risen in The Time of Coronavirus. It is likely due to my having greater “dis-ease” and impatience these days—and sometimes getting agitated over little things. (See my post, “Accepting Agitated People in The Time of Coronavirus”)
As a result, I’m more likely to judge or question why people are doing or acting the way they do. I forget that these are not normal times, and most people are often not acting “normally.”
A recent example is when I reacted strongly when a good friend asked me to share a video with my friends in which a disgruntled scientist made some disparaging remarks about a well known scientist who has played a prominent public role in combating the COVID 19 Pandemic.
After viewing the video, I had doubts about the veracity of some of its accusatory statements. I found several articles that provided evidence disputing the scientist’s main claims and admonished my friend about promoting the video to his friends without first fact checking the claims.
I sent him the articles, but that didn’t defray him. He was convinced about the merits–and adamant–about what he was doing.
The truth of the matter is that I judged my friend harshly for his beliefs and actions. I felt the video was untruthful and wanted him to stop—signs of a true controller and judger!
When I later thought about my actions, certain things about judging became clearer to me.
*Most judgments serve no real purpose or benefit. It’s unlikely to change the way people are or act. If anything, it puts them on the defensive and they are likely to resist and dig in harder.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t express our views and beliefs on matters that are important to us, but rather to not dismiss or disparage others’ views without first making an effort to listen and hear them out. (See my post, “Acceptance Conversations as Peacemakers”)
*We are not accepting others for who and how they are.
I didn’t have to approve or condone what my friend was saying or doing, but I should have accepted he had the right to express his own views and make his own choices, provided they didn’t harm me or those I care about.
The short of it is,
When we judge, we can’t accept.
*We are often being righteous and arrogant. There is a certain “know-it-all-ness” when we judge. We believe we know better than others and what the “real” truth is. However, we easily disregard our own personal biases. I certainly was that way with my friend.
In deed, I don’t think
A judger has ever been accused of having too much humility!
Even when we wish to judge less, we are often unaware that we are in fact judging. Judging takes many forms. Criticism, curtness, withdrawal, smugness, and having unreasonable expectations are just a few of the ways we voice our judgments.
In many ways, judging is a counterproductive diversionary tactic. It diverts us from taking stock of those parts of us, especially our shortcomings, that don’t serve us well. It further diverts us from making an effort to improve upon them.
At its core, judging is a controlling mechanism that harms primarily ourselves.
I thus encourage you to temper your judgments and try to be more understanding and tolerant of others. In doing so, you will control less and accept more, and thereby enjoy greater peace and serenity in The Time of Coronavirus—and afterwards, as well!
In the meantime, remember to
Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!”
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