Who am I to judge?

I’ve been a little obsessed with Kanye West craziness lately. Truth be told, he drives me nuts. He’s so  insane with his rants and tantrums, I seriously can’t deal. But as I was watching his latest interview on YouTube (because I can’t stop), I began to feel uneasy. Here’s a man who, for better or worse, is incredibly passionate about himself, his work, and his aspirations. He believes in himself and in the direction he’s moving.

I may not agree with how he goes about it, but who am I to judge?

In the past year, it’s been important for me to see beyond – good and bad, right and wrong – in an effort to be more whole and to recognize wholeness in others. This isn’t easy. What’s easy is to label. Because labeling keeps us at a safe distance, right? Think about it: when we label things as bad, it helps us stay away. We don’t have to be present to respond to bad, it’s just automatic. Likewise, when things are good, our appropriate meter is pretty much set for us. No question about it.

But what if the world doesn’t work that way? What if, everything you think is right is actually wrong? Or vise versa? Scary, right?

Without thorough understanding, no matter how concerned or fearful we are, we really have no right to tell others what they should or should not be doing. Our best bet is to respect, support, and detach.

Respect that we all have a lifetime of circumstances and experiences that dictate our choices and perspective.

Support the commitments and decisions of others no matter how far outside our own personal worldview.

Detach from outcomes and uncontrollables to fully accept the different routes to success available to us all.

When we see beyond labels, we open up the possibilities for ourselves and others to be our true and free selves; we turn off our auto-responders and enable the honest evaluation of situations as they occur; we try to understand more deeply and genuinely the lives and circumstances of others; and, perhaps most importantly, we learn to value, seek, and extend sincere compassion.

I’m trying to see things differently. Sometimes it’s simple, other times, it takes force. But by detaching from outcomes and labels, I’m much more present. I feel and enjoy much more of my experiences. I relate to others more openly.

Sure, I’ve had my opinions about Kanye. I rarely agree with anything he does. But Kanye’s life is far removed from mine, and I’m safe to LOL and SMH through the glass of my computer and television screen every time he does something else, then simply turn it off. I tend to forget, however, that in our very social world, we’re all at risk of that. So why do it at all?

If we must be vocal, how can we be more informative and less judgmental? If we must disagree, how can we be more understanding and less demeaning? With Thanksgiving upon us, let’s take the hard way out. Let’s try our very best not to judge.

Enjoy your holiday!

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen R. Covey

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