Monday, May 23, 2011

He Who Does Not Judge, Does Not Exist


Everyone in the history of forever has judged someone or something at least once in their lives. No matter what people may say, we've all laid down our subjective opinions on another's character.
To illustrate this point, imagine turning on the news one night. The main headline is about a man who has just been apprehended and charged with raping and murdering a 10-year old girl.
Your views on him will likely land in the ballpark of "He's an evil, heinous man who should get the death sentence!" "He should rot in Hell!"
Look at the words you just used to describe this man, whom you've probably never even met before.
Not your regular nice words, are they? You just judged a person, a thought that may escape your mind the next time you say, "I don't judge anyone."
Not only do we judge people for having done certain things, but we judge them before they've even done or said anything.
What did you think about the homeless woman who stunk up your train car on the ride home? "She's filthy?" "What a disgusting woman?" "She doesn't have a man?" "Betcha she's retarded?"
How do you even know the last two conclusions are true? Is it impossible for a woman who's never heard the word "shower" to hook up with a man who's never heard of it either? And for all you know, she may be a Princeton graduate who's fallen on rough times. Though I sincerely doubt any mentally-challenged people have ever graduated from Princeton.
Skim over my last sentence there. I just passed judgement on the mentally-ill. I might just be wrong about my assessment, and perhaps there are some challenged Princeton grads walking the earth.
Indeed, I've judged people many times before.
I judge people today. I'll continue to judge without realizing it. I used to think gay people were freaks. I recently stereotyped a guy with his pants down exposing his boxers as I walked to a nearby deli for lunch. I'm probably going to judge more people in the future.
I'm not perfect. Neither are you.
But I've tried to withold judgements. The May 10th edition of the NYC Metro newspaper featured an op-ed column from a new mother who admitted she smokes weed to deal with raising her baby. Just the title alone was enough to send my judgment flag wild: "Smoking Pot Makes Me A Better Mother."
I instantly thought that this woman was gonna end up selling her baby on the black market to pay for Cheetos in bulk to satisfy her munchies.
However, as I read the piece, I began reminding myself that it wasn't good to judge this woman, exactly what I was doing. Just because I may not smoke weed to deal with your kids doesn't mean I should totally bring this woman down for doing so. I'll admit that part of me still has some reservations about her parenting skills, but at least I'm trying to have an open mind.
So the moral of the story is that we're all guilty of judgement. We do it every single day. The media constantly does it, in the form of scandalous headlines, music and movie reviews and energetic sports columns. I'm not telling you to stop judging completely; doing so would be virtually impossible. Just try not to go overboard or get hypocritical with it (not calling female hoes "hoes" while calling male hoes "players" would be a nice start).