Saturday, June 3, 2017

Judgment




The iciest judge whom I have across up to now is the biblical god.  On the day of the final judgment, according to the Bible, god will stand in all his glory before the entire nations and divide the countless souls into good and bad.  As simple as that.  Those on his right are good and the others “cursed.”

The next harshest judges I have come across are in real life and are the priests of the biblical god.  They condemn people every moment, in the church homilies, retreat sermons, biblical conventions and the simple conversations you may have with them on the roadside.  There’s a whole list of sins, mortal and venial, to guide their judgment, in addition to whatever the men of god may decide to be right and wrong according to the expediency of the situation.

And yet Jesus was a very compassionate man.  He asked his followers never to judge others.  He wanted his followers to be compassionate so much so that they should offer the other cheek when one is slapped.  He asked people to love others as they loved themselves.  It is the same Jesus who promised the thunderous last judgment, who drove out the money changers and traders from the synagogue, and called a section of people “brood of vipers.”

It is impossible to live without judging.  Every moment of our life we are judging others.  We judge people to be good for us or bad, kind or unkind or indifferent, and so on.  We judge our tailors, shopkeepers, workers, everyone so that we can choose the right service at the right cost.  We judge the newspapers we read and the TV channels we choose to watch.  We judge our politicians, our doctors, our teachers.  We judge the person sitting next to us in the train or bus even if we have nothing to do with him or her and may never meet that person again. 

Judgment is an integral part of our everyday life.  There’s no need to wait for the Last Judgment. There’s no way of getting on with life without making judgments at every step.  Blessed are those who can make good judgments. But as A A Milne, I believe, said, “Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.”

When it comes to social and other public issues, the easiest is to stand with the community, the majority, and nod in agreement to whatever they judge.  Just nod.  To show them.  After that, in the privacy of your heart and home, follow your own judgment.  If you stand out of the group too conspicuously, the same people who preach nonjudgmental attitude to you will be the first ones to nail you to the cross, thrash you on the street, or bury you beneath shrapnel.  

Finally, it’s our own choice.  Each individual decides how overt his judgments can be depending on his or her malleability and ductility. The only thing that’s certain is that we can’t live without making judgments.

PS: Written for Indispire Edition 172:

10 comments:

  1. Excellent perspective on judgement. You have covered all the aspects on it. Perhaps the framing of the topic was wrong. It shouldn't be about judging as such but about mocking and eventually discriminating others.

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    1. The topic was framed all right. Perhaps, I took a personal view of it. Or is it impersonal? :)

      Mocking and discriminating also are products of judgment, aren't they? The dominant worldview affects the judgment and leads to mocking and discriminating of those who fall outside the worldview. Only exceptionally gifted people can afford to question dominant views and get away.

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  2. Enjoyed reading your views on judgement. It is true that "Judgment is an integral part of our everyday life." and unfortunately, we often judge people without knowing enough about them.

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    1. Very, very true. I have personally experienced a lot of victimisation simply because people never tried to understand me. I'm sure a lot of people experience such victimisation frequently. An obvious example would be how many people in Delhi judge those people from the Northeast - I have seen it often enough.

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  3. Sir, please post some new book review. It is long due.
    We simply love your analysis :-)

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    Replies
    1. My last book review was posted on May 29, just a few days back 😊

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  4. You nailed it. Rest I leave for judgment to whom.... :D

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  5. Very true. That's why our world's "Judge" population is increasing :)

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    Replies
    1. And one Judge throws another in prison. 😊

      So many judges who lay charges of treason on others....

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