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College student hoping to expose people to thoughts and ideas they might not necessarily come across on a regular basis.

Don't be a shaken soda...

Judge not, that ye be not judged. --Matthew 7:1

Often misquoted as "Judge not, lest ye be judged," this is a phrase that people use quite often, generally as a defense to deter others from criticizing us or someone/something we like.

It's tough. SO tough.

A basic part of human instinct seems to be to judge, and it makes sense. From an evolutionary stand point, the ability to determine the weaknesses of others gives us an advantage in the battle for resources, food, mates, etc. The moment we meet someone new, most of us manage to find both good and bad things about this person, and we all know that a bad first impression can ruin what could have been a fantastic friendship or relationship.

So, whenever I hear someone say, "Judge not, lest ye be judged," my first reaction is 'Hypocrite!' My second reaction is to think, in a very mature and composed manner, of course, what basically boils down to 'No, you!'

I shouldn't, though. Neither should you. You see, here's an easy way to avoid this problem. And you're gonna make a face at me when I tell you, but that's okay.

Block out the crap. Don't judge.

Look, the fact of the matter is that not only is it usually rude and utterly pointless, but most of the time (notice I didn't say all the time), we judge people negatively for minor things, or things that annoy us, rather than for any sort of substantial reason.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't actually expect anyone to stop judging. As I said before, I think it's part of human nature. But let's look at the situation from a pragmatic stand point. We're going to judge people eventually. The problem is that we don't know everyone's entire story. If we know someone's history, we're likely close friends with them, and even less likely to be a harsh critic.

If you have an acquaintance at work who says things that you can't possibly understand the origin of, stop and think for a second. You probably don't know what this person's life is like. What is his/her past like? Why don't they know that France is not even close to being on the same continent as the US? It would be so easy to let these things get to you. It would be so easy to get upset, to argue with this person, to nitpick their ability to do their job, to go home and complain about their incompetence, to get mad when the person you're venting to gets tired of listening, to tell your friend, parent, lover, sibling, etc. that they just don't understand!

Divorced parents, it might have been. A broken home often distracts a person from what would normally take precedence. Maybe the family didn't have much money, or maybe it was a single parent home, and that person spent their school years trying to help keep the family afloat? I don't know. You don't know.

We. Don't. Know.

And if it was you? If you worked with someone, and it just so happened that you had a hard life, or if you struggled to make ends meet, and you couldn't bring yourself to smile and laugh at the jokes, how would you want people to judge you? Should they simply assume that your surface is your soul? That there is nothing underneath to be explored? That you're such a simpleton that all you have is one dimension?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. --The Ancient World (multiple civilizations)

You see, here's the thing. Casting judgement on others, letting their actions bother you and anger you, they have a powerful effect. The effect, however, is not directed upon the person being judged, but rather he/she who judges. I know from first hand experience that it festers. It sits inside of you, bubbling, the pressure building with every shake like a super-carbonated bottle of soda.

And as you know, the moment the cap is removed, or jostled loose, that anger overflows, bursting forth like a torrent. It makes a mess, leaves those around you covered in the unpleasantness of it all, and could potentially ruin a perfectly good couch! Or worse, a relationship.

We are all bottles of soda. We all bubble and fizz on the inside. That's life. What you don't want to do, however, is get shaken up over and over again. Don't allow yourself to be disturbed by the minor and insignificant actions of others.

Block it out. Shut it down. Put it out of your mind. Take a deep breath. Do what ever it takes to prevent those little niggling nuisances from festering inside you and turning into raging balls of discontent.

When someone else's behavior determines your next move, it's time to reevaluate.

Here's to hoping you had a fun and stress-free weekend. See you soon.


While this is a broad topic, I was inspired by personal experiences, and so it may seem more personal or direct than usual. Thanks to all of you who have continued reading, I really appreciate it. I'd love to hear how you handle these sorts of things, if you wouldn't mind sharing. What keeps you focused on yourself, and not on what you perceive as the problems of others?

8 Responses so far.

  1. The funny thing is, about bible quotes, it all depends on what 'version' you're reading. Each publisher decides to 'update' the wording little by little to make it more understandable by today's standards.

    This all started with King James. He decided to 'rewrite' the bible, made a ton of changes, and then tried to destroy all older copies, so that only his version was out there.

    But yeah, great post. Was a bit broad, but a good read nonetheless.

  2. Yeah, this was a bit more disjointed than I wanted, but I wanted to write it and get it out.

    And yeah, I know bible quotes are iffy. Unfortunately, that's where I know it comes from, and I figured I'd go for the earliest standardized English version of the Bible.

  3. thank you for this. judgement is a very broad topic because we judge in order to survive.. therefore it must be used with discrimination.

    have a great day. :]

  4. Alphabeta says:

    I was going to say the same as skinned sheep.
    But it's just as important to have an open mind too.

  5. Patti D. says:

    Your advice is one of the most intelligent and wise things I've read on the internet in years, and I'm not joking.

  6. Thank you sincerely, Patti.

  7. Breathe and roll with it. I agree, no one needs to be judged so harshly, everyone is just another human. Great stuff.

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