It is so easy to judge others on everything from how they look, to their relationships, to the way they bring up their children. To some it seems an actual hobby! However, how often do we recognise that we too once made choices in our lives that were considered by other’s as ‘wrong’ or ‘a mistake’? Whether these decisions were indeed an error in judgement or if they ended up being the greatest risk ever taken, it is neither anyone’s business, nor does it actually matter because without allowing for mistakes, without taking risks, we would never learn anything new. We cannot run before learning to crawl and walk.
In the race of life, everyone gets to different stages at different times, sometimes not even taking the same route and often with completely divergent outcomes. When we are tempted to judge others we should not only keep this in mind, but also that not everyone has the same priorities in life.
Not everyone wants to tick of the milestone of a successful career or of a family for example.
And while we think we may have seen what’s ahead and therefore have a right to an opinion, every experience is different and has its own unique conclusions.
It is also worth remember that the reason we know to warn others from making ‘mistakes’ is often only because we have gone through them ourselves, which means at some point we were just as ‘naive’ and ‘clueless’ as we are presuming our ‘victim’ to be.
Often the lessons we learned we needed to learn, and we needed to learn for ourselves. We cannot walk someones path for them, and who says we know what’s best for them anyway?
Now if someone asks for advice, that is different. That person has given permission for you to impart wisdom on a certain situation. But that’s not how judgement works is it? Usually it is behind people’s backs, it is not with good intent and it presumes an air of superiority, of being better.
We are none of us perfect. We all make mistakes, and if we’re honest with ourselves, judging others is much more about us than the person we’re gossiping about. It reveals OUR shortcomings and insecurities.
Ultimately we are all in the same boat. None of us know what the future holds and we can only do what we feel is best for us at any given time. That is it.
We can hope to not repeat the same mistakes and to keep moving forward, no matter in which direction. Even if that involves making new and different ones, because it is only through these experiences that we truly learn and grow.
The only person we should judge is ourselves (albeit not too harshly – we’re not robots!).
If you can do that and you like what you see, then everything else is insignificant because those who matter don’t care and those who care, just don’t matter.