Day 27 of the National Blog Post Month challenge where I’m writing a blog post every day along the theme of 30 Steps to Happiness and Contentment.
Ok, it’s the last Sunday of NaBloPoMo so I thought I’d do a bit of a preachy one! As we go about our daily lives it’s so easy to slip into the habit of judging others. We all find ourselves saying things like ‘Well I wouldn’t do it that way’ or ‘how could they do that?’, but it’s really not good to be so judgemental. Remember these words:
‘Don’t judge a mans actions until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes’ (or something like that)
We don’t always know all the background to what’s going on in someone else’s life. We tend to judge things by comparing how we would react in our lives, in our reality. But, how can we know how we’d react if we’d had a different life, different circumstances?
I’m a great believer in live and let live. I try to live my life the best way I can and try not to judge other people harshly for doing things differently to me. It’s not easy, but I think it’s good to make a conscious effort to try not to judge others. Judging others may give us temporary self-satisfaction in that we see a situation that someone has reacted to in a manner that we consider unacceptable. We feel satisfied (dare I say slightly smug) that in the same situation we wouldn’t react in this way. Self-satisfaction does not lead to happiness. It’s actually quite a negative state of mind because in order for us to feel self-satisfied we’ve had to scorn someone else’s actions, so the negative effects of judging someone else cancels out any satisfaction we may feel. It’s far better to feel compassion for someone. Consider what could have led them to take a decision we consider to be wrong.
I’d like to tell you about something that happened many years ago to try to give an example of what I mean. When I was in my teens, a very good friend of mine spread a rumour about me that was totally untrue. I was devastated when I found out and confronted her. She admitted she had stared the rumour and I was so shocked and hurt I cut off all ties with her. I judged that this was not something I would do under any circumstances and therefore it was no longer worth continuing our friendship. What I failed to consider at the time (and I very much regret) was why she did what she did. She had not had the comfortable, cosy upbringing I had with parents that were always there for me. I was all she had at the time and she felt she was losing me to the boyfriend she had introduced me to. She was desperate and started a rumor she thought would split us up. Unfortunately it had the opposite effect and caused me to cut her off completely.
I didn’t speak to her for over 6 months until one day she called me to tell me she was pregnant. All my bitterness and hurt melted away to be replaced by guilt and regret. How could I have turned my back on her? I know how important our relationship was to her at the time and I’m sure she wouldn’t have been in this situation if I hadn’t been so judgmental. I forgave her (Forgive and forget) and we’ve enjoyed many years of friendship ever since.
You may be interested to read the other posts in this series:
Step 30 - The Key to Happiness and Contentment
Step 29 -You are the master of your own destiny
Step 28 - Don't give up on a good relationship
Step 27 - Don't Judge , Live and let live
Step 26 - Don't Worry, by happy
Step 25 - Never give up
Step 24 - Get by with a little help from your friends
Step 23 - Go with the Flow
Step 22 - Enjoy the moment
Step 21 - Love what you do
Step 20 - Forgive and Forget
Step 19 - Unconditional giving
Step 18 - Smile and the world smiles with you
Step 17 - Work to live, don't live to work
Step 16 - Surround yourself with Positive People
Step 15 - Always look on the bright side of life
Step 14 - Where there's a will there's a way
Step 13 - Silence is Golden
Step 12 - Feed your Soul
Step 11 - Follow your Dreams
Step 10 - Use your time wisely
Step 9 - Don't be too hard on yourself
Step 8 - Consider what you value most
Step 7 - Find time for Yourself
Step 6 - Make time for Family and Friends
Step 5 - Don't take yourself too Seriously
Step 4 - Feel the Fear and do it Anyway
Step 3 - Love what you Hate
Step 2 - There's no such word as CAN''T
Step 1 - Find the Best in Every Day