Dont Judge Me…..


……Because I sin differently than you!

Recently, a woman I was paired to work with on a volunteer project, fired off a lengthy email to the co-ordinator. She claimed, among other things “I wasn’t tough or independent enough” for  the rigorous work ahead. This after 3-4 phone conversations. And two hours in each other’s company.

Too bad. For her. Especially when I received a copy of the email hours after a transatlantic flight from Britain.  There was no sleeping on this one. I wouldn’t feel differently the next day. I had to set her straight. Immediately. I was taken aback  by the fact that someone who barely knew anything besides my name. And the city I lived in. Could make such quick, unfounded judgements.

I directly addressed each of her points. And specifically asked her “not to judge me because of a few  minor, petty, inconsequential incidents. Or because I sin differently than you”. Needless to say, we wont be working together. The project is rather important. Her revelations? A blessing in disguise. Her timing? Spot on. We were due to start within a month.

This experience solidifies how remarkably easy it is to judge others. In my opinion, we judge, stereotype, etc, because we are too lazy. To find out otherwise. When we label. And place people in groups. We have something to work with. We don’t have to look any further than the box we’ve placed them in. We overlook the fact that in the majority of instances, we know their names. Not their story.

We’ve become a society of judgemental moralists. Making decisions which affect the lives of others. Sometimes, with no earthly idea. Yet, based on personal experiences, we forge ahead. Judging spouses. Children. Coworkers. Complete strangers. Anyone with a pulse. There in lies the great danger.

Obviously, some situations require us to act on the information available to us. Simple, every day things. Others more complex. To help. Or remain a bystander. To allow a person to learn lessons. When the person has repeatedly brought woe upon themselves. Etc. In these instances, we should use our intelligence. As a way of figuring out what’s happening.

Expressing an opinion is not judging. Making an observation is not judging. But. When we chose to pass sentences on any person. And act upon those sentences. That is judging. Especially with insufficient knowledge. Perhaps, the next time we are tempted to dismiss someone. Because of course, we cannot be wrong. We might want to take a step back. Better yet, try to live their lives for a day. See if you still feel the same way.

Mother Teresa once said: “If we judge people, we have no time to love them“.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

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Welcome To Karma Cafe……….


……….There is no menu here. You get served, what you deserve.

I was a Property Guardian while living in Bath. Simply put, PG’s look after empty businesses, homes etc. The main aim, is to prevent squatters from moving in. We sign a letting agreement. Pay a licence fee. Agree to maintain an active presence. And keep the property clean. Ready for inspection at any time. Rent is dirt cheap. And in most cases includes all utilities.

Two other guardians Carlos* and  Rachel* (names have been changed), shared the premises. It wasn’t long before Carlos and I established a budding friendship. An unspoken agreement existed between us, to share cleaning duties. Rachel never lifted a finger to help. In any way. Not once in the 2.5 months we all lived together. She also took liberties. Using things which didn’t belong to her. Other incidents made it obvious Rachel didn’t care about anyone. Besides Rachel.

One day, we discussed how best to approach the situation. Eventually ,we decided to pull the load ourselves. The conversation strayed to more serious offences. The Holocaust. Syria. Slavery. Endangered animals. Human trafficking. And other ills. We talked about Karma. I remember saying : “Everyone eventually gets their dues“. That night before bed, I made a mental note to blog about Karma. Click here for a good explanation of this law.

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. It’s a part of life. Experience. With great knowledge comes responsibility. Especially how we respond to and treat others. My hands are not clean. I have hurt others. Treated them unjustly. Turned my back. We all have. Trust me. The same things have happened to me. Even now, I sometimes speak too quickly. And react to situations without thinking. Massive work in progress. As I’ve lived. And learned. I realised a long time ago, the golden rule is golden. For a reason.

Lets face it, people will hurt and disappoint us. And depending on the severity of the offence. There are stages through which we must all pass. Anger. Denial. Acceptance. Human nature ignites feelings of revenge. To give as good as we’ve gotten. Or even worse. A broken heart? Yep. Cheated on. Sure. Lied to. Been there. The coworker from hell. Check. A family member who turned their back on you. Sure. A gossip has ruined your reputation. Certainly. A romantic partner played you for a fool. Been there. Identity stolen? Done. A broken trust. You betcha. Someone’s actions caused the death of a family member. For sure. A child’s father is years behind in child support. Undoubtedly.The list is lengthy.

Why do we wrong each other? The jury might still be out on this. Learned behavior (wonderful, life is easier). We are afraid to step outside the warm, and fluffy comfort zone. Basic human nature. Greater benefit to ourselves. Stupidity. No conscience. Doing wrong feels right. Old habits are hard to break. Carry on.

A few years ago, I decided to let time take care of things. Meaning. Karma or justice eventually prevails. Carry on with life. The best revenge is living well. One day, all scores will be settled. Every misdeed. Ill will. Unjustifiable act. When it becomes necessary to set records straight. Clear up misunderstandings. Stand up for ourselves. Do it.

I try to leave relationships with the other person feeling good about themselves. Even though they’ve done terrible things. This gives them an incentive to change. I firmly believe if we treat people how they can be. They will want to live up to expectations. Although change might be slow in coming. Forgiveness frees your soul. Not the offender’s. I haven’t done this with every relationship. I continue to try.

It’s imperative we learn from the experience.When we are angry, it’s easier to strike out. Seek revenge. Especially if it seems Karma has missed this person on it’s list. Resist the urge. Please. Wish them well. And move on. Wayne Dyer has said : ” How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours”.

One final note, Carlos and I moved out on the same day. Rachel revealed to Carlos, her boyfriend had dumped her. And she feared she was about to be sacked. From her new job. Both happening within a week of each other. Whether or not this relates to our experience with her. Or something else entirely. Is anyone’s guess. It’s not for me to decide. Nor will I gloat in her misfortunes.

The good. Or bad. You do. Comes back to you.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan