“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Matthew 7:1-2, NIV
Please don’t let the Bible verses above scare you away. This is not going to be an ultra-right extremist christian exhortation. I just want to share with you something that I just realized, and the verses just happen to be the appropriate background.
Like me, you may have heard or read, the passage or other quotations containing similar essence of wisdom. Even we have been often reminded not to judge others by our standard. You don’t like other people to judge you by their standard, right? So it is just as well that we do not do the same.
It occurred to me yesterday that it is only half of the truth that Jesus teaches. The other half is often be overlooked, though it happens a lot more in our lives.
It is interesting to note that unconsciously we often do the reverse. It is easy to catch ourselves judging other people by our measures. But how often do we catch ourselves judging our selves by other people’s standard?
I won’t blame you if you think that it never happened to you. But I bet that it had. It is so subtle, so stealthy, it always escapes our detection.
It goes something like this:
“I can be as successful as he is, if only I had his luck.”
“I would have been happier if only I had a wife like his.”
“If only my hair were like hers.”
“Of course she won the scholarship. Her father was dean there.”
Once we compare ourselves with other people, we are actually passing judgment on our selves using other people’s standard. We judge ourselves as losers because we are not as successful as Bob who breezed through to the top rungs of the corporate ladder. We feel inferior to those who have long academic titles attached to their names. We feel lesser than people who can quote religious scriptures at a whim. We feel so unlucky because we do not have a romantic relationship like that we see in Hollywood movies. We feel so puny because we do not have the washboard abs that bodybuilders have.
We don’t like people to measure us with their measuring tapes. Why do we let ourselves do just that to our selves? Why do we measure our success, our happiness and our accomplishments by what other people achieve? Don’t we have our own purpose in life?
That’s the other half of the wisdom of the teaching. Nobody should judge anybody. Even we are not to judge our selves. We are each created uniquely, and comparing one to another will serve no purpose. Well, except when you are hiring.
– The Staldsi, BMD