Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Judgment

What is it about human nature that makes us constantly judge one another and compare other individuals to ourselves? Many peoples first reaction would be to say that they do not judge anyone but I believe there are very few people, if any, that could realistically stake that claim. On some level we are all prone to judging other people, essentially against our own idea’s, beliefs, and morals. For any subject to be judged there has to be a focal point that represents the standard and we usually use ourselves as that STANDARD. I am not talking about being judged in a court of law, although the jury members will be working on the same wave length to some degree. I am talking about judgment within a society or community.

I can speak for a lot of people in the Sindhi community when I say that it has been frustrating (to say the least) growing up under the constant supervision nad criticism of uncles, aunts, and piers. We have all had to listen to our parents tell us what other people think of us and how we have to control our behavior in public to avoid gossip. The ways we dress, drive, dance, and socialize are all subject to scrutiny. This sometimes goes to the extent of children being asked not to express their personal opinions in conversations because they might be so “out there” compared to the rest of the group. This constant interference, even in much less severe cases, has slowly eroded our characters into that of conformists. Where once as youngsters we rebelled against the ways our seniors gossiped and interfered in each others lives, we now sit idly beside them, slowly becoming what we once saw as the enemy.

I use Sindhi’s as an example because that is what I am and where I come from but I know for a fact that this shaping does not only go on our society but in small communities and societies around the world. Eager minds that want to wander off are being forced to adapt to the beliefs and ideas of the people in their vicinity. And the ones who do not conform are regarded as rascals, hoodlums, or simply good for nothings. The ones who do conform will probably grow up to repeat the same actions that I consider to be ‘mistakes’. In my opinion this is like stopping mental evolution in its tracks.

I can agree that we must all maintain a sense of dignity and not compromise our self esteem to an extent that we cannot hold our heads up high. But that is also relative. Today if a notorious prostitute or porn star walked into a cocktail party where you were with your family, you would probably not go up and greet her with a hug and kiss, introducing her to your acquaintances. But if you ran into the same women at the adult movie awards in Vegas, you might be inclined to beg her to autograph your ass or even proposition a quick fuck in your hotel room. She would be the celebrity in the later instance. You could call the two points of view as conservative and liberal but that is very general.

Most of the 20 something’s my society today are being forced to live within these ideals that most of them do not agree with. What do you expect? We have been sent to study in America, Australia, and Europe only to return to our parents and their expectations for us to still maintain the ideals they do. After being exposed to so many ideas and cultures how can one be expected to return to the person they were 4 years prior? What is the purpose of the education if you are to remain who you were before you left? In my community, when kids usually come back from college, a lot of sparks fly at home, basically because of the conflict in ideas. In some cases the kids can break through to their parents and they find a middle ground where they both absorb each other ideas and experiences over time but in many other cases the child is left to subdue his own idea’s and conform to the life style of their parents in order to just maintain peace. These same kids grow up with conflicting life styles, essentially being branded hypocrites. At home and in front of society they must pretend they do not drink or smoke, or even go out clubbing. But that same person will be chilling at the disco on Friday night with a bottle of Jack in hand, a cigarette in the other, and 2 girls under each arm. And this is not just a guy thing. Some of the most innocent looking chicks will be doing the same thing. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

So why is it that we have to live and behave as people expect us to, fearing what they think of us, terrorized by the wrath of their judgment? If we do not fight this now and live according to our own beliefs then we will become something we were not meant to be. The education and life experiences you have gathered will be nullified and you will be standing behind where you started. One step forward, two steps back. This is counter evolution mate! There are a lot of aspects on this topic that I have not even ventured into but this is just something I was thinking about this morning and decided to put it down. I know that there are positive traditional values that we can absorb but there has to be some forward change. Why should we be forced to be humiliated of things we have done when we know in our hearts and minds that there is nothing wrong with it? Be your self, by yourself. The people who’s opinions you fear today will be gone tomorrow. Life is too short to put on an act. So this weekend just go buck wild and FTW!!!

It takes a revolution, to create a solution… - Bob Marley

2 comments:

mogs said...

You're topic is well written and certainly touches an important aspect in human behaviour.

Why do we judge? It's not easy to pinpoint an exact reason, but insecurity might be one. Infact, I think that is the main reason. Human beings are sensitive animals and we are sensitive to our surroundings, from what our parents influence was to what we suck in from tv to where you live. It's inevitable. It's called karma. Every single effect has a cause. If I pass judgment about something, it's because of the influences that have shaped my thinking over the 29 years of my life. It's probably not one particular incident, but just the way I've been programmed. The big picture says that it's just human nature. Even saying judging is incorrect is a judgement. That's making a judgement about the act of judging.

The Buddha said that things are not good or bad, that's just the way they are.

What about individuals that purposely act to harm others. eg. a murderer. Of course, someone will not murder just for the hell of it. That person's thinking has obviously been influenced by his past. He thinks in a different way. What if we judge that this person has done nothing wrong. How does society tackle such a situation? Ideally, we should show compassion for such a person and help him recover so that he leads a healthier life but it's obvious that this person cannot just be left to be, else there's a chance that more harm to others will be done.

Avi said...

Your comment opens doors to so many more related topics. But I think you are right when you say that this is our nature to judge. All I can do for now is fight to NOT be judged. Happy hunting mate!