What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you see a middle-aged man in a really really nice car and a beautiful blonde in her twenties by his side? What do you think of the beautiful blond? What do you think when you see a homeless person? What do you think when you see a person you’d consider fat eating in a fast food restaurant?
I’d say that the man is a rich old geezer with a blond bimbo only after his money. I’d feel bad for the bum, but he probably brought it on himself by developing a drinking problem and the overweight person should probably put the hamburger down and join a gym.
Oh, how easy it is to be a judgemental ass***! And how difficult it is to have a positive frame of mind, full of compassion and free of prejudice. The problem is that we’re the problem and ass*** won’t make the difference we so desperately need in this world. Plus, no ass*** ever really feels good about themselves. We can make our inner lives a better place and without even knowing, we can make our planet so much lovelier. We just need to give it a little try.
The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.Michio Kaku
We’re all guilty of jumping to conclusions. There’s actually a pretty good scientific explanation for that sort of behaviour: We usually learn gradually and we build our knowledge based on gradual cause and effect. There are times, though, when our brain jumps to a quick conclusion in uncertain situations. This can, of course, be a good thing if we’ve found ourselves in a pickle that needs a quick fix (this method has helped humans survive through the millennia). It does have a few side-effects, though. A part of our brain’s task is to make quick decisions, based on just a few bits of information, but it can be tricky to figure out what’s really going on without the full story. Our brain sometimes comes to the wrong conclusion. So our man in the nice car could be a wonderful humanitarian and the blonde is his daughter, the homeless person does not need to have a drinking problem and the person in the restaurant is going through something horrible and is desperately trying to fix their lives. You never know.
Now that’s all fine and dandy, but why are we so often happy with the explanation our brains give us? Why does the middle-aged man have to be the blonde’s sugar daddy and why does the homeless person have to be a drunk and why do we judge the person in the restaurant to be lazy? Why can’t our brain come to the quick conclusion it will always come to and then choose to think again? People do things for all sorts of different reasons and they find themselves in certain situations due to all sorts of causes. Can’t we choose to think kindly of each other?
My brain is no different from others’. I’m just as judgy and able to make a nasty, snide comment. I also think I can make myself be kinder. I can acknowledge the snide comment in my head, think about it and think again. I can choose not to have a negative thought about a person, especially without knowing them.
We get judged by the way we look, the way we dress, talk, the car we drive, the house we live in, the job we have … we get judged about everything, basically. I guess it all comes as a part of being a social being. But we, as social beings, always have two choices:
- Am I going to let other peoples’ judgement make or brake me?
- Am I going to judge people based on things that really do not matter?
Those are two questions we have to ask ourselves on a daily basis and often. The answers are quite simple, when you think about it: We can let other people with positive attitudes help build our life and never let them ruin it. We can also let go of superficial judgement and choose to see the person behind all that. We probably won’t always be able to see the bigger picture and be this awesome human being I’m talking about. But that’s what so great about the future: we can’t change the past, but we can change the future and try again.
I know it’s all easier said than done. But you’re worth the effort. Society and human kind in general are also worth the effort. Every day, you can choose to be kind. Kind to yourself and others.
Every minute of every hour of every day you are making the world, just as you are making yourself, and you might as well do it with generosity and kindness and style.