Thursday, November 16, 2006

Do not judge, lest ye be judged.
Bible – Matthew, 7th chapter

I have been thinking a lot about this topic recently. Within the context of an individual's life, who is the judge of that person's actions or thoughts? I have arrived at the conclusion that the judge is whomever we allow it to be. Do I let my boss judge my actions? Do I let my wife or friends? Circumstance? God?

There are many times when I simply want to be told what to do. “Do you want A or B?” “Do you want to call or should I?” “Should I do this project like Y or Z or maybe W” I feel that is a weakness I must overcome.

In life we have far more choices than we realize. Our subconscious does it's job by filtering most of these. Walking down the sidewalk, one rarely thinks, “Gee, what if I skipped, or hopped, or jumped from side to side every 21 steps.” Far too often I hear from others, “I just couldn't do that,” or “I've never done it that way before.” What bothers me is not the fact that I hear others saying these sorts of things; it's that I say these sorts of things as well.

And so what if I decide to skip from my car, through the parking lot, into the office? I will not be written up or fired for it. I will probably not hurt myself. I would probably cause a few people to point and laugh and have some of their suspicions proven, that I can be an odd fellow from time to time. Oh, then, there may be that pesky drug test! But all the same, nothing bad will happen – so why don't more people do these odd little things?

As I crawl out of my little co-dependent shell, I realize that there are some things about myself that I really don't like. These are traits and behaviors within my being that previously I could simply explain away. Things that I could really believe were the fault of circumstance. Now I see they are not, and I must change for myself.

Introspection really can be a bitch at times. I am judgmental. Not at the big things and not with many things; just a few. I like to be at work on time and feel it is a vital responsibility not to miss days when unnecessary. When my daughter complains of a sore throat or sore feet or an ache or pain and subsequently does not go to school, it, well, makes me a little angry. I am judging her pain based on what I would do; go to work. Within that judging, I discount her feelings and that simply is not right.

Where, then, does being a good parent fall into this equation? I want her to be a tough kid and a tough adult, but I need to be empathetic as well. She is an intelligent individual with an IQ in the upper 130 range but her grades simply do not reflect it. So should I push her to 'suck-it-up' and 'get busy' or should I be more empathetic and let her stay home when she isn't feeling one-hundred percent?

My empathy seems to be waning. Many people have suggested, and perhaps rightfully so, that my empathy has been beaten and bruised and is lying dormant somewhere. I hope I can find it; without it, I am not me.

On one hand, I want to stop being judgmental and be more empathetic. On the other hand, I want people to not judge my actions. I hope the two hands can shake and be friends soon!

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