You know how you know an immature sociopath-in-training? When you call them on anything, no matter how gently, they cry “shaming!”
I’m a big fan of “judgment.”
My new book is coming out. Here’s an excerpt.
Prejudice is not judgment. Judgment is what we do when we choose to eat an organic apple, from a local farm, vs. a pile of poop. That’s something (I hope) we do every day: discern good from bad, healthy from unhealthy.
Judgment is discernment.
The problem is when we pre-judge. We operate out of preconceptions, our preconceived notions of good or bad, happy or sad. Pre-judging is, quite literally, prejudice.
The good news: we all do it. It doesn’t make us evil. It makes us human. We do, however, need to work to wake up from our own preconceptions.
Meditation helps us see clearly, freshly, without preconception. It’s actually less work and more natural to see things as they are. It’s no biggy. We can actually stop hating on others we don’t know simply by…getting to know them. Empathy is impossible if we don’t have compassion for ourselves. If we hate or objectify others, we likely hate or disrespect parts of our own experience. Come on in.
Diversity offers a wealth of appreciation; prejudice is calcified fear. We all can relax and open—in giving up what we know we may feel a delicious combination of groundlessness and delight.
Nothing wrong with being white or black or indigenous. Nothing wrong with being a man or woman or anybody, or young or old or thin or curvy or rich or poor.
Something wrong with prejudging others. Something wrong with self-righteous aggression. Something wrong with not regarding life as an opportunity to learn, grow, heal, help others.
Some folks just want to argue. To “own” being right. Don’t be that. Don’t let your mind close.
Let’s not take what we have, the good in it, for granted. Think of something you’re grateful for. Gratitude turns privilege into compassionate action. What are you grateful for? Who are you grateful for?
The above is an excerpt from Waylon H. Lewis’ forthcoming book, It’s Never too Late to Fall in Love with Your Life: Practical Buddhist advice for Everyday Life. It’s 365 quotes, with commentary, one for every day. Pre-order it here and save $5.