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"Do NOT Judge" is a Place, Not a Verb

By Dr. Lynella Grant

The admonition, "do not judge" has been taken to ridiculous lengths in modern life. Even the most absurd, inappropriate, or self-serving behavior rates a PASS by those determined not to criticize. Discernment is jettisoned willy-nilly to avoid the appearance of being judgmental or reluctant to understand.

We're all the poorer for it, since relevant nuances of thought and behavior go determinedly unnoticed.

It sounds noble and open-minded to declare, "I won't judge." The statement implies: I don't think I'm better than you. My behavior isn't any different than yours. It further implies external standards don't apply. All words and deeds are equal.

Refusing to judge has become the unchallenged and worthy (see, that's a "judgment" word) objective. A statement of fact (even if totally true) that sounds the least bit judgmental brings instant rebuke from all directions, "Don't judge!"

That phrase defines our culture - with everyone busily not judging... or noticing... or standing up for any notion that could be construed as "better," or "higher," or "good for the world."

The reasoning goes like this: To judge someone else is bad (oops, one of those darned judgment words, though it's usually permitted in this case).

So I refuse to do it.

Instead, I must do the opposite - which is to avoid judging.

So when I do that I'm good and fair (more of those darned words).

The problem is, that's a simplistic example of either-or thinking - judge versus not judge - choosing between opposites. Either one is a verb - something one does. To attempt to do both (avoiding either one) sounds less judgmental, but leaves one paralyzed.

The phrase, "do not judge" has been totally misunderstood and misapplied. It's not about doing something (or not). It refers to resisting the urge to judge (or not), so you can be free to try something entirely different. It refers to a place within yourself where judging isn't possible.

Go there. Disengage momentarily from trying to change or fix things. Suspend your preferences. Appreciate what's unfolding, without the need to understand it. Ahaaaaaaa... There's nothing needs doing. Peace reigns.

See, it's a place within - an awareness, a place of clarity. And its name is DO NOT JUDGE. Whatever makes you want to criticize or "fix" yourself or anyone else is a reminder to go there.

© 2005, Lynella Grant

About The Author
Dr. Lynella Grant, Author, How to Survive a Spiritual Hangover - A Spiritual Hangover is evidence of emerging spiritual growth and re-alignment. Decode life's puzzles and messages. Off the Page Press (719)395-9450

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