“Those who judge will never understand, and those who understand will never judge.” Anonymous
It is only too easy to pass judgement on the choices of others these days. You don’t need to call someone up or be face to face, just jump into social media. Not only that, but don’t restrict yourself to passing judgement on those you know, any one can be a target.
Judging others in this way is not the domain of either the young or the old. But I do believe that you can become less judgemental you get older. If you are willing to learn about other people’s lives and use that knowledge to try to understand why people act as they do.
During my career in healthcare I have met a lot of people whose choices get judged. It is easy to believe everyone has a choice in the things they do, but life is never that simple. The year of covid has proved to be the year of judgement. If people act differently to how you think you would then lets pass judgement.
The key one has been about face masks. Personally I do not like wearing a face mask for long periods, but am required to do so when in the hospital within which I work. It’s mandated and everyone complies. I also wear one in shops and other places, but am sceptical about their effectiveness in protecting myself or others. For one thing they easily become wet and for another people can’t keep their hands off them. Thirdly they seem to prevent people from properly distancing. But I’ve decided that the easiest thing to do is to comply with this rule and then keep away from the faces and hands of those around me. When there is a rant on social media about masks, I keep the hell out.
My poor mum stopped going out because she was so fearful of being judged because she can’t wear a mask. I was with her when she had a panic attack wearing one so know how it affects her. The result has been increasing immobility. Even though I’ve told her that no one will judge an elderly lady on a mobility scooter she would rather not run the risk.
Then there is catching covid in the first place and being able to isolate. It really is no surprise that people living in crowded housing and doing the most menial jobs have suffered most. Working on test and trace, as I did for much of last year was a huge insight into the realities of people’s lives. When you are paid a decent wage, get sick pay and live in your own family home it’s easy to think everyone is in that situation. But they are not, nor either does everyone have control over the actions we all take for granted.
Judging people’s life choices
I used to hear people say that if their husband cheated on them, then he would be out of the door. I thought so too until it happened. Though I wasn’t entirely enamoured with the woman who had an affair with my husband, I preferred to blame him rather than her. Only too often judgements get passed on the other person. When it was my turn it definitely was my choice to go with another man. The experience has made me less likely to judge people but to focus on the mess and the outcomes.
My brother is currently involved in just a situation. I don’t judge him for seeking out another person, but he has created one hell of a mess. Sadly he will likely be the one to come off worst as he will probably end up with no one.
As I said at the beginning, judging others has nothing to do with age. But what we can do is to try to have some empathy. We don’t have to like the actions of others but nor do we have to make out our choices are always the best. Judge others and you never know when it will be your turn to be judged by them.