Daily Judgement…

What is judgement?

I know I’m not supposed to do it but every time I mutter to myself (which doesn’t count right?),

“They let their son do what?

“No wonder they never have any money…

“She’s wearing shorts in winter?

“If I was in charge I’d…”

I’m judging…

When in London I’ll cast my eyes over the crowded station platform and allow them to settle on the bright pink hair just to my right.

“Pink?” I think, “How could she possibly expect anyone to take her seriously?”


I’m judging a young lady I know absolutely nothing about.

Standing in a queue at the grocery store I find myself gazing into someone’s basket, mentally clocking all the refined and processed foods they don’t need.  A packet of buns, a bag of sugar, jumbo shrimp, soda, a box of mac ‘n’ cheese, a Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie and a box of tissues.  I’ll sometimes amuse myself by trying to figure out what’s for dinner at their house.

I’ve been known to checkout with ice cream and a bottle of wine…

“Hope your evening is better than your day!” The cashier is only being friendly but passing remarks is only a breath away from judgement.

I judge unconsciously it’s part of who I am, an erstwhile mother of four who enjoyed guiding her children,  critiquing their outfits and veto-ing their plans.  I allowed them the freedom to make choices as long as they were safe and sensible and I approved.

Miraculously they all did learn to express themselves uniquely.  Modest first steps then with more aplomb as they spread their wings and flew from the nest.

And when they spread their wings I spread mine…no longer the family role model I was free to dance to the beat of my own drum…

…nothing too drastic mind, I just don’t make my bed every day or dust every week anymore; I eat cake when there’s no bread,


and on cold January mornings blog with my pillows propped up behind me in bed; I do laundry when I need to and don’t always brush my hair.

As I grapple with judgement and all its nuances I wonder, can I encourage those I perceive to be on the wrong path to re-align to the right one?  without shouting judgement from the roof-tops of the wilderness like John the Baptist?

“Right Path here next to me, Wrong Path over there next to them.”

John thought he was absolutely right and everyone else was absolutely wrong but I don’t want to be bull-horn man standing on a street corner passing judgement on those passing by.

Here’s a trick I’ve developed-

-instead of allowing a critical statement to spring fiercely, teeth bared, into my head, I close my eyes, take a breath and mutter to myself (and it counts this time),

“Give her strength to finish this day.

“Bless him wherever he is going.

“Ease her sorrow for her face looks mighty sad.

“Be with him Lord and bestow your grace on him to make it through this night.”

I may not see the results of my quick prayer but I will definitely feel the benefit of a softer heart, a kinder gaze, a gentler regard for my fellow human, a tolerance for the differences between him and me and a patient trust that God will do the rest.

A friend put it this way,

“Send positive vibes into the world instead of negative.”

And my mother said,

“If you can’t think of something good to say about someone then don’t say anything at all…”

and Om yourself…

…Into a respectful silence.

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