Thursday, May 20, 2010

Letting go of the "inner judge"

First there was Judge Wapner, then Judge Judy, then Judge Joe Brown...and maybe there are even others now on television leading the way to high ratings via moralistic rulings.

And don't get me wrong, there is unquestionably a role for the whole "don't-take-the-law-into- your-own-hands...you-take 'em-to-court mentality.

The problem, as I see it, is the inner micro judge judy that sits inside our minds being so highly critical of everything that goes on...what good does all that negativity really do?

Negativity without purpose is useless energy.

And so, whether we find ourselves judging others or just ourselves, let's let go of the black cape and gavel and instead embrace a caring, positive, supportive stance.

Make sense? Your thoughts are appreciated.


oxford reader said...

ideally it's great not to judge...
and being critical doesn't get you anywhere
and sure you should have to walk in someone's else shoes before you do it...but...for instance...when you see some parent berate their kid or treat them in a way no one should be treated...it's hard not to wince. not to have your blood surge. not to judge. i'm sure there's a lot of reason why that parent is that way...they were treated that way themselves etc. and that's heartbreaking too...but just letting it go? tough. not that the judging helps.

Happy said...

Thanks, Oxford Reader, for these comments.

You are highlighting some points I was hoping to raise in writing this piece: "...being critical doesn't get you anywhere..."

As for the emotional, knee-jerk reaction of wincing, blood surging, etc, these are functions of our tendency towards unreflective reactivity.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying for a second it is inappropriate to get those twinges of upset when something we witness is blatantly wrong -- and a child being abused is a perfect example.

We all get those very human reactions.

But what should we do with these very human reactions?

Shoot back in a rage?

That certainly doesn't work.

For me, the Serenity prayer says it best: we have to have an effect on those this we can affect and we have to have the "wisdom" to know what can make a difference.

And from the prayer of St Francis comes more wisdom: "...help me to seek not to be understood, but to understand."

And, yes, I agree with you. It is all TOUGH to do. (Does being "tough" to do suggest that we still not do it, or try to do it, even if it is the RIGHT thing to do?)