There exists a chair, so comfortable, the cushions deep and soft that you don’t really sit as much as sink into it. It is made of luxuriously soft material, and no matter if your cat is the fluffiest or your dog the sheddiest nothing ever sticks to you or the chair. It is tempting to sit in this chair, its even harder to get out of it. Curled up, in comfort with nothing sticking to you. You can’t help but linger, and indulge in this divine feeling.
The chair is called judgement, and I find myself crawling out of it daily. Its one of those things, you don’t necessarily make the conscious decision to sit down, but instead find yourself languishing in the protective borders judgement offers. Sometimes we are slow to sit down, we take our time, gathering facts, giving the benefit of the doubt. Other times, like our feet are on fire we throw ourselves into judgement, digging in deeper to the protective cushions, covering ourselves with a shame retardant blanket.
Our judgement chairs come from different places. They are built up by societal influences, media influences, nature and nurture, but at the end of the day we all possess our own. Sometimes judgement greets me in the elevator when I see someone take it one floor up – and then I remind myself that my feet and legs are good, I could use the exercise, what is my excuse for taking it five floors?
Sometimes judgement comes in the form of an employee, student, or colleague who has disappointed in some way. Most often that sneaky little chair comes from behind, taking us out at the knees and wrapping us in it’s protective layer, leaving us oblivious to how destructive it can be. Because here is what judgement does: it allows us to become satisfied that our way is right, and whatever the others are doing is wrong. Judgement closes our minds, it hurts and pains others, and it lifts us up on the shoulders of that pain, looking out over the masses that we have just crushed from the comfort of our judgement. And then, when we are wrapped up in it, our judgement provides us a way out. Our judgement turns into justification. We are justified to judge in this way, or we are justified to say and do things that hurt, because our judgement has proven, not that we are better, but that they are worse.
I wonder what would happen if we attempted to live a day without judgement. It won’t be easy, but imagine how open our minds would be, to new experiences, new people, new beliefs. Or what if our judgments were of a positive nature? We all have a choice in this, sometimes it just takes awareness.
“Everyone may not be good, but there’s always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” – Oscar Wilde