When We Judge Others, We Reveal Ourselves

“When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself” ― Earl Nightingale

 

In other words, when we judge others, we reveal where we are coming from and who we are.

Is there anyone out there who is totally free of faults, always doing what is right and good, at any given time and place? Do I hear anyone?

Be careful how you judge others for it may fall back on you…

Nobody.

No one indeed is perfect, and all are guilty to varying degrees of faults, shortcomings, weaknesses.

There is nothing wrong with sharing one’s opinions or views, giving comments, and even ventilating one’s grievances, denouncing others’ actions or words; these activities form part of our basic human right – the freedom of expression.

But in expressing ourselves, some of us fall into the trap of judging others from our high horses, banging down the gavel hard as if we can do nothing wrong ever! Can people not comment on news stories, current events, public figures without being judgmental?

I recently came upon an enlightening post, The Psychology of Judgmentalism, whereby the writer shares an excerpt from a book whose purpose is to help the reader understand the difference between judgmentalism and the capacity to make moral judgments. It will be helpful for us to ponder on these words:

We may not consciously be aware that tearing down others can inflate ourselves. Yet the underlying message is something like, I wouldn’t think of doing such a thing, or I could never do that or I am shocked and aghast at such behavior. We are usually noting how utterly different we are from these people or how we would simply never sink to their level. Criticizing others is not  just an offensive move against them; it is also a defensive move to protect our own “purity.”When we are judgmental, therefore, we need other people’s faults in order to dodge our own. Stated simply, judgmental thinking is addicted to other people’s faults or destructive behavior. Judgmentalism finds its identity in what it is not. (p. 23)

Think, too, of discriminatory remarks, like when we judge people based on their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religious beliefs, political views, affiliations and other personal traits. We tend to judge others based on our biases; we look at others especially those different from us through the windows of our pre-conceived notions, fears, ignorance, unconscious prejudices. We may also project what we dislike in ourselves.

Then, there are the aggrieved parties who go public, posting their criticisms or complaints on social media, granting interviews on TV or radio in order to put the object of their ire on the hot seat. Nowadays, the power of media is being abused in this way. Can the aggrieved not have a private talk with the party concerned? Does every complaint be done online and create a viral news out of it? Think trolling, public shaming.

An article published on Psychology Today talks about internet ranting and catharsis. It says that ranting and venting are terrible ways of handling anger. The idea that “venting” anger has a beneficial cathartic effect is well entrenched in modern culture. Belief in the value of venting has manifested in the online world in the form of “rant” sites (e.g. Rant Rampage) where people not only get to freely express their vitriol, they can also read and comment on rants left by other venters. However, decades of research have shown that venting, far from releasing anger, actually makes it worse. Not surprisingly, a recent study has shown that online ranting seems to increase anger and is associated with anger-related problems. Ranting may be problematic because it associated anger with aggressive behavior. On the other hand, expressing anger in a constructive and non-aggressive way can actually be beneficial.

See a related article, Why ranting online doesn’t help manage anger – this though already digresses from the main message of the given quotation.

Even more incomprehensible is why others have to use profanity, whether they are simply giving opinions or airing grievances. Just scan the comment sections of each of the news stories online, and you’ll see what I mean.

The quotation seems too sweeping a statement — we cannot be determined by just one act alone. Yet, if we make a habit of that act, soon it becomes who we are, and that is precisely what the quotation is reminding us about. The manner by which we judge determines who we are.

Thus, before we are tempted to voice out our opinion about others, or post something on our social media pages especially if we are to criticize someone, let us pause to check ourselves – why are we doing it, who do we think we are, where are we coming from, do we want such rantings to be attached to how we identify ourselves?

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

 

 Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

                                                           

A Work in Progress

Summer’s Third Wind is my special work in progress and it’s my blog’s new name! As I wade through the process of building a much better, more engaging and unique blog, you’ll be seeing some changes here and there, and I’m thrilled with this special project of mine I’m undertaking with Blogging 101.

Summer’s Third Wind is still the repository of my reflections in prose and poetry, but I believe it’s time to change my blog’s name to something I can personally relate to. At least, with a previous name to boot, English All You Can, my blog now has a past I can look back to with fondness, once in a while as I move on.

Why Summer’s Third Wind? I was born one summer day in May. I was, in fact, toying with the idea of using Mayflower, but that was what I already did for another writing site; besides, Summer’s Third Wind — there’s a certain ring to it, don’t you think so? I just love the way it sounds poetic.

My blog at this stage is indeed, my third wind. (In due time, I’ll be editing my About Page where I explain about this). Now, I feel much better about my new blog’s name — it fits like a second skin, that’s totally me, yet provides me with a comfortable sense of privacy.

The more I say Summer’s Third Wind, the more I feel this is Me. Times when summer is light, breezy, warm, but times when it’s heavy with summer rain. And that’s what I hope my blog can offer to you my dear readers from this day on – an eclectic mix of enjoyable, engaging, sometimes serious reads.

 

 

 

Me and My Soul Dreams

Today, I tell you about myself and my dreams, which has something to do with who I believe I am deep within: a creative person, an artist, a writer at heart.

I’m an EFL teacher, but I still dream of going up and doing more. I dream of writing a book, some journals, a memoir, poetry anthology — write, write, write and join and win the prestigious Palanca Awards, a Philippine national competition in literature.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars, they say, so this quotation often pushes me to just aim high, dream big.

I once read a book, How to Know If Your Dreams Are God’s Dreams, written by the well-known, well-liked Filipino author and Catholic preacher, Bo Sanchez, and his inspiring book has led me to discover — these dreams of mine are connected to my Life Purpose and Core Gifts! They are my soul dreams.

What makes me affirm that these are indeed my soul dreams? These are dreams whose seeds I’ve nurtured since I was a child, and though through the intervening years they seemed to have faded away, my dreams have never died – just like what the author says in his book, some of our dreams are meant to die to tell us we need to grow up.

Yet there will be dreams that are meant to grow. Just like my Soul Dreams that have to come to their full flourishing, even now well into my golden years.

I believe God prepared me when I was younger to be a teacher, and that is what He wants me to be. Now, I’m a teacher, and my Core Gift is to teach, to communicate. But I believe, God wants me to not only teach, but to mentor others to become good teachers themselves. And He wants me to be a teacher of other fields as well, not just of language. I’m still figuring that out.

To write is my CORE GIFT, too and God wants me to share this talent of mine to others, to let others be inspired by my writings. This Dream Makes Me Happy in the Deepest Way Possible.

All these I’ve mentioned are what motivate me to blog, not merely keep a personal journal. I want to see how I can reach out to readers out there. I’m also putting myself in the shoes of my writing students so I can feel, experience what they’re going through each time I give a writing task.

Thus, the reason I’ve joined Blogging 101 is to learn how I can blossom to my fullest potential as a writer, keep a blog, find my voice, enjoy the process as I meet new friends along the way.

And this post is my response to the 1st day writing task of Blogging 101: to write who I am and why I’m here.

I WRITE ALL THESE DREAMS IN MY HEART AND IN REALITY, on this Day of the Lord, September 15, 2014.

 

Gallery: Windows of the Soul

 

These are some of my photographs depicting different window scenes, except for the last photo which depicts the message of forgiveness and forgiving (see photo credit, A Christian Counselor). A window’s perspective. There’s something about windows that has always fascinated me; somehow the view from behind a window frame makes the scene outside more alluring than when I am seeing it out there.  On deeper reflection, we find  the world around us is mostly seen from the windows of our soul…

Looking for the beauty around us…

The way we see the world around us comes from deep within.

Serenity

Out of the goodness of our heart comes goodness, and we see beauty around us.

And from the evil inside, we spew evil through our words and actions. I’m reminded of one quotation:  “When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself” ― Earl Nightingale

Mystery

Indeed, for you show who you are, what you are by the way you judge others. We must be careful then of how to pass judgment on others — you can just see in many social media posts how cruel many are in their condemnation of others’ behavior by the way they share their opinions, or criticism about others – as if they themselves can never, ever do wrong!

Homeliness

When our heart is filled with love, we can see through the prism of love, and forgiving is made possible for us, though it’s hard to forgive those who have hurt us and our loved ones. Still, we can forgive, if we ask for the grace of God’s forgiveness.

From the windows of the soul…a vista of forgiveness…Rainbow of God’s Healing Light

                        Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us…             

Photo Credit: A Christian Counselor

 

Back to Life On a Monday Morning

 

Just when most people kiss the night early on a Sunday evening, to prep for work next day, I may still be up late winding down with the last of my articles to post for the week.

And while many, cloaked with a tinge of the recent weekend, hurry over breakfast, dash off in hope of beating the traffic, I find myself resurrected back to life on a Monday morning.

An early riser, I get up on Mondays, late nite or not, with a renewed sense of energy, not exactly physical though.

It comes more from knowing I’ve done my best, even as I still shake with the mental fatigue that have me drained, dragging towards the end of my week…

Thus, Monday morning means enjoying each second through yoga, chores, errands, going out, before facing the computer again. No hurrying. No minding of master time as he passes by.

Yet, I should remember nothing lasts, and down-times are not forever —

Soon I must earnestly begin, lest I find myself trudging back to the graveyard!

 

 

Uncanned Laughter: My Blooper

 

People who know me well, like my close friends, often brand me as funny, crazy, and even wacky at times. Many of my students likewise have remarked they like it when I make them laugh.

Perhaps there is that touch of hilarity in me, often in my deadpan way, that elicits uncanned laughter.

But what constitute my ticklish moments for others are those times I’d rather bury my face in the sand. My closest friends tell me that if my life were a collection, it would be a collection of bloopers.

Bloopers indeed — embarrassing, hilarious or clumsy…

…if my life were a collection, it would be a collection of bloopers…

Like that day in college when I was only a shy sixteener in my 1st year in the university. You know how it is when you are trying to muster enough grace to walk in your 3-inches heels and white uniform that rose 2 inches from your knee, and hoping your crush would be around. That feeling of balancing your steps while trying to look cool, casual.

But I didn’t expect this. I stepped daintily towards the university’s main building, took another step, and felt my right foot … on the ground! My shoe somewhere behind me.

With all those students swirling around me, I felt like dressed chicken being roasted on an open fire…

How about you — have ever experienced anything like this?

Life by the Advantage of Foresight

If I could have the power to predict

and make things happen as I see

By the advantage of foresight   

I’d predict my

Life without blight

A life where tears

Means Joy

Peace

Love

Not cries of anger

Nor hatred

From this wounded soul chained

by the shackles of sin

Not cries of lament,

anguish nor torment

From an isolated soul

Waging battles that

Leaves the self

Broken, shattered

Even if it

Means a day less

For what is a day

If ruled by wickedness

I’d rather see Tears

Washing away

Each pain

As I make my way

One step closer to the fullness

of Life I am meant to live

in Christ’s Everlasting Home.

 

My Mirror Crack’d!

There’s a superstitious belief that when you break a mirror, bad luck is sure to follow, and it’s 7 years at that. And often, a cracked mirror is disposed of quickly.

Now, if indeed I were to wake up one day to find the mirror crack’d, I’d see a much better world. Not perfect, not even close to it.

Photo by Justin Kauffman on Unsplash

Yet, around me, beauty would shine more strikingly than ever just like in an eclipse —

the moon’s mystifying form, sans its own light, renders her more beautiful than the blinding light of the sun…

My mirror crack’d, thus I could see myself more clearly, through my neighbors’ eyes and mine;

Perhaps in a world without mirrors, people would be more humble, quiet, content…

We’d become more in touch with ourselves less the self-consciousness that would otherwise distract us from our real purpose in life — and that can allow you and I to journey on with humility, simplicity, sincerity…

Truly, when our mirror of self-vanity cracks open, it reveals the real gem beneath our facade, our mask…

Each of us becomes a beautiful broken piece from that shattered glass of superficiality and pride.