Sunday, 21 April 2013

Week 17: I like blue better than orange.

I'm a judgemental person. I like to think I'm not, but the truth of the matter is that we all are. The human mind is incredibly good at making 'polarisations' - this is good, that is bad; this is better than that; I like this more, I like that less ... Sometimes these judgements are fairly innocuous - such as a preference for my blue pen over an orange one. Often, though, our judgements are unkind, nasty or downright dangerous. It's not hard to think of examples in recent news to illustrate this. Unfortunately, we've all been subject to the outcome of people's judgements; from a friend pointing out our poor fashion choices to bullying in the workplace or school yard - we've been there (on both sides).

When I teach yoga, there's a phrase that pops out of my mouth again, and again: "Notice. But notice without judgement. Don't make it right or wrong, good or bad". How hard is that to do? Very hard! What about simply noticing that we're making a judgement? Maybe that's a little easier ... and maybe, once we've noticed it, it gives us a little bit of space to see it in a different light; to get some perspective.

What's really scary are those judgements we make when we're completely unaware of them and we attach to them so vehemently that we just have to be right. It's like we put our blinkers on and cannot see what we're doing - the harm we're causing to ourselves and those around us.

While I generally pride myself on being a kind person who is slow to judge, at the end of the day I'm constantly making judgements, just like everyone else. Often they're so automatic, I don't notice. So, this week I want to push back my blinkers and look these judgements in the face. No more mindless discriminations.

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