Judgement implies a moral judgement, assigning "right" or "wrong" or "good" or "bad" to a person. Listen for the "should" in your appraisal. "Should" usually implies that kind of judgement of yourself or an other.
Judgement is separation. Your set yourself apart from others, you see yourself as different. Either you or others are right or wrong, good or bad. Compassion, however, puts you in the other's shoes without the differences.You see the world through the other's eyes and experience a sameness, a connection.
Judgement toward others shows our lack of understanding, not a fundamental difference at our core. In the exact situation with the identical world view and conditions, we would most probably make the same choices.
The way to change the behavior choices is to change the situation. When we are able to understand the experience of others, forgiveness arises and it is no longer possible to hate - others or ourselves.
In a more beautiful world we create better circumstances to create more positive choices. When you can see more choices you increase your personal power to change and to help others to change.
When you recognize you are making habitual choices that result in negative outcomes, it is vital that you look for more choices. It isn't enough to just stop drinking, for instance. The alcoholic must explore other choices of how to deal with situations without using alcohol, choices that result in more positive outcomes. This is true for all addictive choices.
So what separates you from others? How do you keep the view of yourself as different, as apart from others? How often are you ignoring how alike you are with those from which you separate yourself?
It's strange - technology has made it possible to easily connect with more of the world than ever in the history of humanity. And yet, all to often it is used to foster hate, fear, and judgement, to keep us separate.
This could be called the Era of Separation. Just read the newspaper, watch TV, or go on social media and see how much fear and hate abounds. Notice how often the focus is on the"worst" or "best" of people. We can't escape it. But do we have to participate? It is all too easy to fall right into doing the same thing. Instead, let's more often consider how we are like others, to have true compassion for them and ourselves.
It's not enough, though, to think "I'm no better than they." That only leads you to judge you both rather than looking for more choices. To stop at that point by branding yourself as "as bad as they" doesn't change the situation for either of you.
So, this more beautiful world we long for will require that we pay close attention to our thoughts and our perspectives. As we create better situations for ourselves, we change the world.
The Daily Dozen To-do List:
- Encourage your church or community organization to participate with you in reading to, helping with, and singing with physically challenged children.
- Talk with someone about how we are similar to those "other" people discussed in the news or on social media.
- Help build accessible ramps for elderly or handicapped people who have no family or funds to build them.
- Collect "Kindness Quarters" for a special act of kindness project. Encourage others to collect quarters for the project as well. One quarter may not seem significant, but many added together can have great impact.
- Extend a hand to someone in need. Help someone carry their groceries to their car. Say hello, smile, and offer a dollar or two to someone on the street who looks like they really need it.
- Assemble and deliver a basket of vegetables or fruit and a few flowers for a home-bound person.
- Volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels. Share a cheerful smile with the recipients.
- Share your personal books, magazines, or newspapers with a family that can't afford their own. Children that have books and magazines in their home achieve more in school. Yet many families struggling to survive cannot afford them.
- Visit the elderly who have no family nearby. Offer to help them with minor maintenance and repairs that they may need but can no longer do themselves. Keep your tools in the car so when you visit you are prepared to help!
- Make a list of things to do to bring more kindness into the world. Have family members and friends make lists and exchange lists. Agree to do one item a day for a month.
- Take an acquaintance to dinner or invite them to your home. Get to know more about how they are like you. You may just create a friendship.
- Make extra when you cook or bake for your family and share it with a shut-in or elderly person living alone.