I’ve been thinking a little bit about judgement. Don’t ask me why. That’s not so important.
Suffice to say that, while I have tried to escape it probably for all of my life, I am still and continually surrounded by it. Whether judgement of me by others, observing judgement of others by others, sometimes (unfortunately) judgement of others by me (though I kick myself if I find myself doing this – and I do not condone it!!), etc.
I guess some judgement is good. We have to judge whether things are right or wrong for us. We need some kind of internal compass.
In the main, though, I tend to get rather fed up with blanket judgments.
The thing is I guess, none of us know where other people are coming from, what their backgrounds are, what peculiar circumstances they might be in.
I see younger people executing judgement and criticism on other people a lot more than older people and, thankfully, I am finding that as I grow older I am not so bothered by other peoples judgments of me and I am less inclined to judge other people…I also much prefer to believe the best of people.
I am struck by living in my husbands family home of how our upbringings influence us quite fundamentally. This is a large house and it is perfectly acceptable to raise your voice to talk to other people, because often you are shouting from the house to the shed or from upstairs to down below. To traverse everywhere to deliver messages in quiet, subdued tones would run you ragged. The Kings have ‘the King voice’ as I call it, and their normal is several tones louder than my loud. I grew up in a house where we were expected to be quiet.
Some families grow up with an overflowing pantry and so children from these homes will, in turn, fill their pantry & eat well. Others learn to eat very bland food when they are young and stay that way their whole lives. Some of my friends come from homes where time is a relative and a relaxed concept. I have really learnt to appreciate the rhythm of such a life, it is comfortable and relational, these people will stay to complete a conversation, no matter how banal, rather than rushing off to their next appointment. Other families live their lives around scheduled meetings and learn to be on time every time. Always prompt.
Sometimes we backlash against our upbringings. Some people learn through having several children that having a neat and tidy house is not the most important thing in the world. They learn that things are not so very important – as most of them get broken or spoiled.
Growing older, knowing different people, I have learnt to appreciate these and other differences. I must say, it is a great place to be.
I used to be much more black and white and I would get hung up on inconsequential traits in people. I would struggle to integrate with a variety of people. This is one thing about getting older that I would never want reversed.
To live in harmony with a great many and variety of people is a real blessing and I hope to do it better and better, more generously and graciously as the years flit by.
I hope to instill in my children this attitude of adaptability, not taking on unfounded criticism of themselves and also not living in a critical spirit toward other people.
Critical, resentful people can never be happy. Thankful people will always be happy.
N.B. For further study read/watch: Pollyanna (the children are watching this with their grandma at the moment. Let’s hope they take some of her almost sickly ‘gladness’ on board! haha.)