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Tis The Season Not To Judge

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Over this holiday season it is my hope that all of you who genuinely believe in the true spirit of why we celebrate this time of year will embrace and exemplify an attitude of selflessness and thoughtfulness to those around you. Self-centeredness, self-righteousness, materialism, and judgmental behaviors are the antithesis to Christ's spirit of peace, love and compassion. It is a time to reflect on the joys and disappointments over the past year, and be thankful for the good times and not dwell on the bad times. To learn from your failures, take humble pride in your successes, and forgive those who have hurt you is key to providing you the emotional energy, freedom and strength to tackle the challenges of an approaching new year.

It is also a time to assess your own sense of self. Are you practicing what you preach? Are you honest with yourself? Are you living what you project? Are your values defined? Are you dealing with your insecurities with unhealthy addictions, or healthy choices? Are you accountable for your own behaviors before passing judgment on the behaviors of others? These are questions that may be uncomfortable to address, but are essential for you to answer to be an emotionally and physically healthier you.

It is only when you are genuinely true to yourself can you be genuinely true to others. Why? You have nothing to hide. To live your life based on the core values you believe in, and to honestly project to the outside how you live on the inside, exemplifies a genuinely true person. To be a fully honest person you most come full circle by taking personal accountability for who you are, what you have been, and what you wish to be. Finding inner peace is difficult when you are dishonest with yourself. It is also hypocritical to judge another when the jury may still be out on who you truly are. It is only when you live the values you believe in that gives you a platform to pass judgment on the behaviors of another. As Dr. Wayne Dyer stated, “Judgment prevents us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”

Is there a distinction between judging a behavior, versus the judgment of the person associated with that behavior? We all make mistakes, but does each mistake we make, or have made, constitute a complete reflection of who we are? Of course not, for if that were true there would be little goodness in the world, and there is goodness around us each and every day. You just need to see it. As Mother Theresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” To judge is to, “form an opinion or conclusion about”. I believe it is completely appropriate to form an opinion or conclusion about a person’s behavior, a social issue, a political policy, an economic inequality, an educational disparity, etc. for to have the freedom to express an opinion or conclusion about anything is the foundation for our free society. However, to allow judgment by one ideology to dominate over the freedom of others to judge differently is a catalyst for the destruction of that free society.

To righteously judge is not to preclude the true character of another, but to attempt to make right a behavior that may be harmful to a socially healthy society. It is important to base judging others on logic, rather than emotion, and to focus on the consequences of another’s behavior rather than a self-righteous opinion of another’s character. Who are any of us to fully understand another when we have not walked in their shoes? For example, how can one of privilege judge another who is destitute? How can one judge what is moral if they themselves are immoral? To disparage and paint a broad brush over a group of people based on class, race, religion, gender, origin, culture, sexual orientation and political opinion undermines the value of each of us. Throughout my life I have discovered we as a people have more in common than we do different. This holiday season make an effort to celebrate the goodness in all of us, rather than judge what we perceive the evil in others may be. It is how Jesus would want us to celebrate his birthday. Merry Christmas!


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