Giving up Judgment
Laurie Pappas Ph.D.
The man at the dentist’s office looked self-assured, a business executive who must growl for a living, I thought, as I waited for my appointment. And then I smiled as I realized that he, too, would be as vulnerable as I was sitting in that dentist’s chair awaiting the shrill sound of the drill and having to relinquish all control to a man he hardly knew. And I thought to myself, “Isn’t it strange that we’re all human. We all go to dentists. We are all helpless babies at one time. We all die, we all sleep at night and have skin, bones, muscles, etc. yet, we all judge each other.” We are constantly sizing each other up, trying to determine whether we are better or worse than the next person when, in reality, we are all made of the same material.
Life force energy moves through each one of us. This is the energy of the Universal mind, the force that created each of us to physically manifest uniquely and yet to share like essences. That essence is a soul, a loving, nurturing, vital soul, which comprises the core of each of us and which is part of the Godforce that pervades all living things.
Judging others means that we are judging ourselves and forgetting our inner goodness. If we are unconscious of our own loving inner core, why would we want to see that in others? It would only remind us that we are lacking in some way. So we judge others to make ourselves feel better.
But how many of us can be happy judging one another? Happiness cannot be found in the harsh world of judgment. Being happy requires the ability to see the loving essence in each person with whom we come in contact, no matter what their outer appearance may seem like.
At a conference I attended many years ago, a beautiful and spiritual woman told a story, which demonstrates this powerful truth. The woman told us that each day when she went to work, she had to take a boat across the water. The cost of the boat ride was 75 cents, which she always made sure to have in her pocket. On the other side of the water there sat, day after day, a filthy and unkempt bag man, holding out a tin can for passersby, hoping that someone would be kind that day. Well, this woman never could bring herself to look at the bag man. The sight of him scared her and the thought of him disgusted her - until one day.
She was on her way home from work and was approaching the dock when she reached in her pocket and realized the 75 cents she needed was nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact, she had no money at all. Well, she had to get home, so with a deep breath and pounding heart, she made her way to the bag man and asked, “Do you, by any chance, have 75 cents? I have no money and I need to get home.” Well, with no hesitation at all, the bag man replied, ”Sure I do! Here!” And he reached in his can, pulling out the three quarters she so badly needed. With that, they both smiled, feeling warmed by the very special encounter that had just taken place. They then struck up a conversation and eventually became fast friends, opening the doors to happiness that then became a permanent part of their new, but ongoing, relationship.
If we look for the significance of this story, we can see that the relinquishing of judgment can bring real happiness to all parties involved. For ourselves, it is the tender and warm feeling of having given something through seeing another’s true essence. For the others, it is a release from the bonds that have held them prisoner - the bonds which have tightened and established their belief in their own imperfection.
So, when we catch ourselves in judgment of someone else, let us remember to ask ourselves, “Will this bring us happiness?” If not, let us call upon our own inner core of love to help us see the beautiful essence of that other being, knowing that if we can manage this, we have done ourselves and the Universe a most wonderful favor.