Sunday, 3 June 2012

Who Do You Think You're Judging? Live Life~Love Life WK 23

Who do you think you’re judging?
To judge or be judged can be a very tricky subject because all judgements are measured against standards. There is a need for judgement in many areas of our lives, especially in relation to professional requirements and skills. A good example is the need for driving tests... look how many people would be a danger on the roads otherwise! It is also good to have basic standards that different organizations comply with so that we are reassured as to the quality of goods and services. Likewise with professional exams; uniform standards mean that employers can expect staff to enter the business with specific knowledge.

Personal judgements are another matter. It is good to make personal judgements either based on instinct as we discussed recently, or fact. The problems come when we start judging others by our own standards. How do you set a bar to judge by? Who is to say what is right and what is wrong in some situations? Problems often arise where cultural diversity occurs either across nations or within nations. Social class can cause us to look at behaviours and judge accordingly, possibly inaccurately. Whereas some families have extremely high standards and morals others may have very few. Stealing is a way of life amongst some people and I was shocked when watching an in-house training video at M&S many years ago where children were shown snatching items off shelves & slipping them into their buggies. Obviously that was regarded as good/expected behaviour by their parents yet acknowledged as being against society values. How would you judge those children if you caught them and how would you go about re-educating them?

A good policy is to try to refrain from judging others- rather, listen to what they have to say and ask questions in an effort to understand and guide. If people are aware that you are making a genuine effort to understand and help rather than judge they will be more receptive to you. Negative judgements make us feel bad about ourselves and are not likely to encourage us to change. Think about people who we may term as overweight. If someone tells you over and again that you are ‘fat’ or overweight it does not actually inspire you to change, instead you become depressed about the situation or convince yourself you are happy the way you are. If you are happy with your size all is good, but if not this kind of judgement is unhelpful.

People are often quick to make moral judgements... Jerry Springer or Jeremy Kyle audiences are a case in point. These programmes can become the modern day equivalent of a pantomime with the boos and cheers! The audiences invariably take a strong moral standpoint when in reality many of them have lapsed morals themselves. The other point about this is that we can adjust our values according to the situations we face in life. There are times we are strong and stand up for our beliefs and other times when we lack inner strength and moral fortitude.

It is good to approach people with an open mind and an open heart. Love and understanding are the essential qualities that endear others to us and put us in a position to help one another, build up each other’s confidence and ability to cope. This is especially worth remembering in situations where we may be tempted to take sides. Instead of taking sides take the time to discover the facts and when you are ready deliver your summary (judgement) with integrity and fair mindedness. We will all make both good and bad judgements but don’t beat yourself up over this! Just keep on keeping on and do the best that you can in all areas of your life. After all, each and everyone of us will eventually be accountable for our actions at the closing of the day and that judgement is outside mortal control!

Jaz Mckenzie

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