Tuesday, March 18, 2014

J is for being Judgmental

The other day I was down in the garden. A bunch of kids were playing close by while some mums and some maids stood by chatting. A fight broke out - we have one almost every minute. One of the kids boxed the other one, only to be punched in return. A mum and a maid rushed to separate their charges. The mother turned upon the maid in righteous anger and gave her an earful. “Why can’t you keep an eye on him? Do you come down to chat?” She said before retreating with her son. “This is what happens when kids are left to the maids,” she added before admonishing her son to ‘never play with that boy again.’

As if that were even a possibility! Five minutes later, the kids are back again.

How quick are we to pass judgements, and how wrong. Among many things motherhood taught me – this was one valuable lesson.. 

People cannot be bracketed.

One of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite books.. 'To kill a mockingbird'

She’s a SAHM - she’s a good mum.
She’s a working mum – she doesn't have time for her kids... wrong again!
She wears a sari/ abaya - she’s conservative. 
She's pushing her daughter to have fries - she's a bad mum.
She’s fat – she’s lazy (that one’s for me).

Oh it can make you feel good about yourself for a while. But when you judge others you also end up judging yourself. And sooner than later you will fall short. You cannot possibly think you are the only perfect person on earth! If you do think you are, well then you’ve reached nirvana and can stop right here. But if you do not, you will fall short of someone and will end up feeling not so good about yourself. The first step to accepting yourself is to accept others as they are.

This becomes even more relevant in a country as diverse as India. People from different regions, states and ethnicities, speaking different languages, dressing differently, looking so very different… it’s as crazy as it can get. 

While I was working in Mumbai there was just one other girl from my hometown in North India and it was assumed that we’d be best friends. However my best friend came from the other end of the country - from down South. We bonded over books. We ended up being roommates and are still friends some 20 years later.

Being judgemental can make you miss out on some really good friends.

Over the years I learnt to reserve my judgement. Oh I’m not perfect just yet but I hope to get there.

Linking to ABC Wednesday the grand initiative now in it's 14th round.


  1. I completely agree. I think one of the easiest trap as a parent is being judgemental. It is so easy and it happens naturally. But as you said we all fall short sometime or other. No one is perfect. Wish more parents realise this. Very well written :)

  2. Judging others can really show how prideful we are of ourselves. That's not a pretty sight.
    Excellent post today and a word for each of us, no matter what country we lie in.

  3. It is so easy to fall into the trap of judging others quickly based on one's prejudices and stereotypes. A good post on an important topic.

  4. judging others say a whole lot more to the one doing the judging I think.

    frankly my dear

  5. It is sad how judgmental people really are. It is so hard not to fall into that trap and pass judgment on what kind of person they are by how they look.

  6. As one who has eaten a lot of my words over the years, I try not to be judgmental now as I've gotten older I believe it's a defense mechanism to mask insecurity; tearing others down in order to make ourselves feel better. A great reminder for everyone to check their tongue before they speak!

  7. This reminds me of reading this somewhere, "God, I hate judgmental people... they are so mean and fat!!" :P

  8. We constantly tend to judge everything and everyone mostly on subjective basis.
    Bonding as you have pointed out is not based on language,region,religion,caste or even social status.
    It is a nicely written post

  9. Something inborn and inherent. It does require lot of self control before passing a judgement.
    Great post!

  10. What a wonderful post to remind us all that no one is perfect - whatever "perfect" is.

    abcw team

  11. Such a good example of judging others. I try so hard not to join in.

  12. So true. As human beings, we are quick to jump the gun on others by labeling as X, Y or Z. What we need is a little of understanding and i've been guilty of that too. That's why I think twice before judging and strive to let people be who they are:) Great post

  13. Beautifully said. Who are we to judge others? there is no one fit all mould. Having said that, it's really difficult not to switch on the self-righteous mode every now and then ;-)

  14. So true we are so eager to pass judgement especially in our country....

  15. You are so right. Being judgmental can be so limiting. I'll admit that I have trouble not being somewhat judgmental towards a parent berating a maid in front of the children. If she isn't satisfied with the care being given her child that should be discussed privately with the employee. Yep, in some ways I have trouble not being jdugemental.

  16. ...to be able to curb being judgmental (even inwardly) is a great virtue indeed! Great post!

  17. Slotting people is something we all have to guard against, don't we?

  18. True OM! I believe even the realization that we are being judgemental is a great step forward!! And then, it takes effort and mindfulness to actually not judge others.

  19. This is one thing I wrote about and think I mentioned to you as well, some time ago. The art of judging comes so quickly and easily to us. We need to step back and think about everyone's situation before we judge them. Very well written post, Tulika!

  20. Nodding to every line.. absolutely my philosophy in life too.. obviously its always a work in progress :). Amen to less judging all around!


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