Can we really stop ourselves from judging others?

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The greatest moral failing is to condemn something as a moral failing: no vice is worse than being judgmental.

Julian Baggini

Each of us face this situation in our day-to-day lives. It’s an involuntary activity that we do. We meet people, we hear them, we see them, we observe them and based on those observations we draw some conclusions and those conclusions form our judgements. We seem to forget the fine line between judgement and facts, those conclusions will only tell you facts about the person that may differ by circumstances not how he actually is.

Difference between facts and judgements:-

Tha data that our brain collects on seeing people from near or afar is actually a simple information gathering which is followed by information processing. Now the information gathering part is something that we don’t have any control over. Based on appearances we do gather some superficial informations involuntarily, but trying to deduce something from that information will lead you to some facts that may be true or may not be and this deduction is information processing. There, at this point of information processing it branches out to facts or judgements. Now some people will simply take them as facts but wouldn’t base their behaviour towards that person based on those facts. Those facts are just there for them to be cautious and aware not for any other purpose. While the other bunch of people give in to their tendency of forming judgements based on the information they processed. They happen to view the world from their own glass and have a very myopic view where they think , that what they think about a person is true. They have their own prejudices against a person and will behave towards them based on that. These people really believe in that famous adage that “First impression is the last impression”. Now, the first impression really has an impact on what a person is going to think about you, atleast at the beginning, but you can always change their opinions later on when they really see who you are.

It’s very easy to be judgmental until you know someone’s truth.

We cannot judge anybody based on first impressions or visual and behavioural informations that we draw upon meeting them. Usually we happen to judge others based on those facts about a person, but we don’t know if the person behaves or responds in the same way for every other similar situations he faces. So if we really come to know a person, then sometimes at a later point of time we realise that our judgement was based on baseless conclusions that we withdrew on first seeing them. Sometimes the judgements that we draw are correct and sometimes not.

When it comes to the behaviour of a person we generally can’t predict it accurately, because our own behaviour itself changes over a period of time. The way you would have responded to a situation in the past, you might not respond to them in the same way in future probably . So, why do we expect that the other person is always going to stay the same way and henceforth, based on my first conclusions I’m always going to think of him in that way. No! we change and that’s why we are humans.

mt       Our heart, our mind, our behaviour, if not fickle then also it changes over a period of time or for some people or for certain circumstances. Just as a river doesn’t flows in a straight line from where it originated to its final destination, it changes its course based on the terrain and obstacles but the essence remains the same, as it is the same river and so are we. Our core remains the same, the real essence of who we are but still, our life itself is our own path to self discovery. Maybe you will find yourself doing something in the future that you might never would have thought yourself of doing in the past or present. So why to impose those judgements on others when we would not like anybody else imposing them on us.

So how do we really stop ourselves from judging others? Well, for people who judge others it comes naturally to them without giving it a thought. So they can’t stop judging others but wait not all hope is lost. There is still a way to curb those instincts. Atleast even if you judge people don’t behave towards them based on your judgements. In that way you can really come to know whether you judged them right or wrong, but before that try to behave normally towards them. Come on, we are all humans nobody is going to hold it against you that you judged them wrongly at first, but you should also not hold your judgements against them then only you will know, were you really wrong about them.

So try to stop forming judgements and focus on facts if possible, and if not then try to control your behaviour. So don’t try to be judgemental and if next time you do then try to remember this saying

 “Even god doesn’t propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?”
Dale Carnegie

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Making the right choices

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“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Choices are what we make throughout our entire lifetime and yet we cannot harness it. Nobody thinks so keenly that a simple whim can change the track of your life by the choice that you make. However the worst is not knowing ‘what if I had made that choice’ part. This is what people call as free will. The ability to choose what you want.

You can never redo your life and that is why, its essential to atleast know and realise what choices you are making in your life. I just watched this movie LA LA LAND and it was good, but for me the best part of the movie was when Ryan Gosling played the piano in climax. In that one symphony, he envisioned a life which they would have led if they had made different choices. This is what we don’t realize that once a choice is made, it takes a solid shape and changes your life from what could have been if you had not made that choice to what it is after making that choice. You can never undo your choice and, redo your life. Probably all the people who watched the movie would have liked the life they led in that one symphony where they were together and happy. I for one rooted for that ending but no, no that’s not what happened. In reality they lived in their own separate and different worlds no matter how much they loved one another. This is what their choices led them to in their lives. However, there was that one smile that they shared mutually looking into each other’s eyes accepting and acknowledging that they are happy with their choices. And that is the moral of the story you don’t know the choices you are making however trivial they may seem , will lead you to god knows where in your life but , what you could do is to be ready to bear its consequences and be happy with it.

choice_main I just don’t understand when I see people making choices so frivolously or whimsically , that whether they really do not care what will happen after it? This free will and our ability to make a choice is the greatest gift that our creator has given us. The life you lead is made by the choices you make. Imagine a world where everyone made the same choice. Well! what fun would be in that if everyone led the same life. So you see your journey of life depends upon the choices you make by your free will. We all detest doing something for which we think we don’t have any choice. Remember how it makes us feel helpless and being helpless is the worst feeling in the world. So the gift of making a choice that has been given to us, atleast we should have a little care for it and do it wisely, because if not, then it leads to regret and regret too falls in the category of the worst feelings in the world.

So does making choices wisely means we make a list of pros and cons everytime we make a choice? Well, no! There should be a balance between making choices cautiously and making them recklessly. We should atleast think about the important choices, that what will happen in our near future as far as we can see if we make it. People who say they like to live on the edge and live spontaneously also made that choice. They somewhere have accepted it if the choice goes wrong, then its on their shoulders. Just don’t get influenced by those kind of people if you are not a person who lives that carefreely. Sometimes some choices may seem trivial but no, you don’t know a choice made precariously can also end your life in the next second.

“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”
Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

It seems like we cannot lay the blame of how our life turned out on anybody else’s door. We have been given the power to change our lives at any point of time by making the right choices. So no matter how hard it is, put some effort in thinking and making choices so that your life is never filled with a regret of ‘WHAT IFs?’ or ‘IF ONLYs’. Life is too short and we each have our own share of misery, the least we can do is to make the right  choices that may get us out of it.

We are not God, neither prophets nor oracles. So we can never know where our choices will lead us in the end. All that we can do is just know how to live with our choices and endure the consequences of it, afterall our choices make us who we are.

Do actions really speak louder than words?

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‘Actions speak louder than words’ is it so?

Recently, I have started wondering about the wisdom of this famous proverb and all I really think, is it true everytime? The conclusion that I withdrew from all my reckoning is:- Yes, sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. 

We humans are complicated creatures. It is quite difficult to figure out how each one of us is wired. It doesn’t matter how much psychoanalysis results or survey results we see. This is an unequivocal truth that – ‘WE CAN’T EXACTLY TELL WHAT THE OTHER PERSON IS THINKING’. All we think and do are literally based on the assumptions that we make, what the other is thinking. 

This brings me to the core of the problem that, even if you are doing all sorts of things and trying to convey those unspoken words, there is still a probability your unspoken words will go unheard by the other person. We all want to feel happy, we all want to feel acknowledged and we all want to feel reassured by the people surrounding us of our value in their lives. I suppose that is why we have this inane feeling to put tags to every relationship and every feeling that we feel,  because after sometime we start doubting our own stand in the relationship or our feelings and asking ourselves that ‘Am I the only one feeling this?’ ,’Is this a one-sided thing?’ or ‘Did I figured it out wrong all along the time?’. Well, these may seem to be mundane questions to few, but I believe these are actually banal questions and we repeat them all the time throughout our whole lifecycle. We can’t preclude asking these questions or feeling those feelings of being acknowledged.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

William Arthur Ward

We all need appreciation for the effort we put whether in our work or in any relationship. It’s this constant need of being recognized for our efforts that drives us to put more effort and make our work or relationship better than before. So, the thing is why do some people have a problem in saying those few words that acknowledges what other person is to them or acknowledging their feelings for them. I don’t say that you need to declare your feelings everyday but I don’t think that acknowledging them once in a while does you any harm.

Some may say what is the need to say those things if I am proving in my actions that I feel them? But I would ask the same question to them who feel uncomfortable in expressing their feelings. What if someday you express those feelings but the other person doesn’t acknowledge it, thinking that I say this so often he maybe knowing it how I feel. I don’t know why do people have to make things complicated by not communicating and simply assuming the other person knows how you feel because of your actions. NO, it doesn’t go  that way. 

Language was made to eradicate all the misunderstandings that happen when we assume what the other person is trying to tell us through their actions. 

Now, if you are in a professional world you might have come across that how much an organization emphasizes on good communication skills. I recently went for a communication workshop where they told us the difference between communication and an effective communication. ‘Effective communication’ is defined as the act of conveying intended message from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs and semiotic rules and in return acknowledging what was understood by the receiver. This acknowledgement of what was understood by the receiver is the key differentiator between communication and effective communication. We do this communication using language to put across ourselves to the other person. I agree that you need to put your actions behind your words to substantiate what you expressed but, simply not putting words to express or acknowledge the feelings once in a while is a bad way to go about it.

As I said humans are complex creatures and we need all the assurances, recognition and acknowledgements to establish a solid floor in any relationship. Simply assuming that the other person knows what you feel because of the way you behave doesn’t really resolve a problem, in fact it creates a new problem which you will tackle later on in a relationship. The best way to have a good relationship with anyone whether its your friend, family or love is to communicate and acknowledge each others feelings and efforts. This reassures them that you recognize their efforts and feelings.

So don’t fold into yourself just because you feel uncomfortable expressing your feelings. Go with the actions because yes! they do speak for themselves but also put a little words to why you do it, sometimes it may make the other person feel treasured.

Remember that actions speak louder than words but only words have a way to be heard without fail. 

The Dark Passenger

What exactly makes a person good or bad? Why can’t then people accept that they do have dark side? Yes, for some it may be darker than the others as well but still, even the brightest stars in the universe are surrounded by the dark. It’s upto you to show your bright or dark side. So many people think that the good and bad are mutually exclusive of each other but no, they both coexist. They exist within each of us and makes us who we are, that is ‘HUMANS’.
To err is human.

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Inside each of us, there is the seed of both good and evil. It’s a constant struggle as to which one will win. And one cannot exist without the other.
Eric Burdon

We all have a good and a bad side residing within us. Deep down somewhere in our souls we know, they both exist and are equally a part of us. They are two sides of the same coin. I don’t believe in people who claim that they are all good or all evil. No! that is just impossible. Even a good person may have done something bad for another while doing something good for someone else and vice versa, an evil person also might have done something good for someone while doing the harm to another. 

I was a big fan of this TV series called as ‘DEXTER’. That is the perfect example of what I’m trying to write and explain here. This guy Dexter was the protagonist as well as the antagonist of the whole series. He used to call his dark side as ‘The dark passenger’ and you can see his struggle or how he is the amalgam of both good and bad. He is capable of loving but at the same time capable of murdering. He liked to kill people but he turned that part of his to kill the criminals who escape justice. Now , I don’t say what he did was right but you cannot also say that he was wrong. What if he killed the innocents? Probably then he would have been totally wrong but his father ingrained in him to kill only criminals. Still, he was loyal, he loved his sister, his step kids. So, you see we each carry our own ‘Dark passenger’ who travels with us.

capture“No good deed goes unpunished.”
Dan Brown, Angels & Demons

There is this ‘RELATIVITY‘ theory of mine which I’ll probably write about in my next blog hopefully. However,the reason why I’m mentioning ‘relativity’ here is because whatever good or bad you do is measured up in relativity. It is a simple concept like, you cannot make everyone happy. While making someone happy, you must have caused some grief to someone else. Lets take a simple situation where you have got two of your friends vying for this one position left for a volunteer in some program. Now, you are a part of the program already and the selector asks you to tell them whom to choose as you know both and there, you have your dilemma presented to you on a plate. Although, you would be friends with both of them but still you are only going to give only one person’s name eventually making the other unhappy . So through no fault of yours or that other person’s you still land up making that other friend of yours unhappy, and maybe you don’t know but that position might have been important for him. There you go! You just did something bad for that person but that, doesn’t make you a bad person. Does it?

When you do a little bad by choosing to do a good far greater than it, then why do we feel so distressed about our bad deed? The answer to that question is quite simple.

There are people and there are situations that always await us to trigger our dark sides.
The only difference between a good person and a bad person is that which side of his character is dominant. Sometimes the situations decide which part of ours is dominant and sometimes the person himself decides which part he has to keep dominant. So the person whose angel’s side prevails over his demon’s side are the ones who get distressed over the fact, that they did a little bit bad in the course of doing more good.

“No matter how much we might wish it, there is no way to build a lock that only angels can open and demons cannot. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant of the mathematics or less of an angel than they appear.”
CGP Grey

Earlier in the start of this post I stated that I don’t believe in people’s claim of being only good , because how are you ever going to build a demeanour which only your angel’s side can access but not your devil’s side? 

You know it doesn’t matter however good a person might be,sometimes, somewhere, for some reason they might have also done a bad thing intentionally. They would have done it maybe once or twice but oh yeah! They have definitely done it. It doesn’t matter when , how and where but someday everybody meets their dark side, because everybody is just another human being not God. The only consolation in this long waging war of good and bad in our soul is that, a good man will always find a way to switch from his dark side to his bright side, as soon as possible.

So, I don’t think one needs to over think or distress for doing something wrong while doing something else which is good. Ofcourse people who are bad, are bad. You can’t give them any advice , it’s just a matter of wasting your breath. However for people who are good my only advice is:-

Don’t feel bad because sometimes you have to do something wrong for being right. Do whatever makes sense and feels right to you, because as long as you can justify it to yourself for it being right, then you are right. Nobody can be a better judge of your character for what you did is right or wrong. You should be the one, who should feel it in your soul that what you did was right.

What is LOVE?

There are many people who believe in love at first sight, but how many of us can be sure that it is love that we feel? Is falling in love that easy or that hard? When do we know that this is our one true love? These are the questions I have always pondered on and I suppose, everyone thinks about it once in a while.

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LOVE is something which I have always mulled over to get a clear perspective on. Its the most abstract emotion that I have ever come across. I am single and have never been in love and probably that’s the reason it fascinates me the most. I have observed keenly that people are spendthrift with the word but not with the emotion attached to it. I believe there is a very fine line between love and lust which most people misunderstand.

The desire of love is to give and the desire of lust is to take.

I have seen people using phrases like :- ” I love this food”, ” I love this dress” etc. but they fail to understand that if you want something just because of any of its aesthetic property as it satisfies some kind of desire in you, then its “LUST” not “LOVE”. Some people say it’s an overrated word, probably because people say ‘I love my shoes’ and ‘I love you’ in the same statement. So, are you comparing the emotion you feel towards your beloved with your shoes? Well, the answer is NO. There is a huge difference between comparing and asserting something. When you say ‘I love you’ you are asserting your emotion but when you say ‘I love you more’ or ‘I love you the most’ then that’s comparison. So, never get confused with the use of these expressions because you need to add a comparative or superlative degree to compare and there is no point to think that anybody is belittling you by saying they love both you and their shoes as well in the same breath. As I said earlier that people are spendthrift when it comes to the use of word ‘LOVE’ but not with the emotion.

lust Like, Lust and Love are the three words in most people’s dictionary whose boundaries always overlap with each other. Actually, it’s quite difficult to distinguish the boundaries and draw a line where one intercedes the other because lust can be a culmination of your like and love can be a culmination of your lust. Hence, we muddle up with the words as well as the emotion.

So most of the people are searching for their ‘One true love’ and we see them continuously jumping from one relationship to the other and thinking, that they are in love with the person with whom they are currently in a relationship. This is where most  people around them think how can he/she fall in and out of love so frequently? And this is where the boundaries become vague between like, lust and love. You probably like a person which can lead you to lust for that person, and you confuse this lust as love. So when things don’t work out, the delusion gets over and you understand that it was just lust not love.

So, the big question is ‘WHEN DO YOU KNOW, YOU ARE REALLY IN LOVE?’ The answer to that question is really tough, if you are not clear about your own feelings. The things, the feelings, the gestures, the emotions that trigger love is different for different people and , that too varies with the person they are with. So, there is no single or specific answer to that question. It’s a special journey and everyone has their own path of discovering that benign, passionate and strong feeling we know as ‘LOVE’.

All I could say is that , there is no specific guide to find love. Sometimes you find love and sometimes love finds you. All we can do is just be clear what exactly do we feel.

Its just filtering out love from all the lust and likes that surround us and voilà !

Memories

We live, we make memories. Both of these things go hand in hand. One cannot happen without the other but sometimes memories also have the power to destroy us.

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Our entire life is captured in the memories that we have. Some are good and some are bad. Usually we remember the good memories occasionally when something fond happens to us but we cling to some memories which maybe good , maybe bad but somehow affects our present quite effectively. There are always some memories in the past that hold us back from living our present.

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

The only thing that can help you overcome those memories is to recognize your own strength and realize that some memories are just meant to be cherished in your heart.

The hardest things for people struggling to overcome these memories are

  • making peace with the past
  • living in the present &
  • welcoming the future.

If we can understand and achieve these three things in our lives probably we will hurt a little less. Latching onto these memories and recalling them in a loop is a kind of self afflicted torture. I recently saw this movie, ‘Dr. Strange’ where he uses this torture technique on the evil Dormammu. I suppose if something as evil as Dormammu could be tortured by the memory loop then we are just humans only. So discerning that having memories is good but this life can’t be just wasted on some memories is very important.We are always going to carry the beautiful memories that have been given to us by the people in our past and those are precious and irreplaceable, but we  can’t just keep lingering in our past and wandering along the memory lanes in our mind.

These memories make our life worth living and we should always keep them with us but never let them get a hold of us. Well sometimes we do love to relive some memories but we should never make a habit of it because there lies the trap.So, we always need to keep in mind that we need to make memories from living our life but do not make living those memories our life.

Is anything replaceable?

via Daily Prompt: Replacement

So, this word ‘REPLACEMENT’ it kind of really intrigues me. Is anything or anybody really replaceable? Well, that is a million dollar question that I have always pondered about.

Even God in his own way has made everybody unique. Many people might say there are twins who look alike. Then there is that famous theory of the doppelgangers. Still even if anybody looks same or might behave mostly the same as other that does not mean they are the other. In true words “Nobody can replace anybody”.

The one thing that keeps me in awe of itself is that, there are billions of people inhabiting this planet Earth and some people do look alike but we all have different fingerprints. So imagine billions of people but no single pattern that occurs twice. God has created a masterpiece and each masterpiece has a unique identification key as their fingerprint. No one is a copy of anyone. This is just one inevitable truth about everyone being unique but the real thing is what makes you unique is YOU.

I for one would never enjoy a copy of an original. The copies have their own advantages but what copy can suffice an original. It is like living in a cocoon which looks like a paradise after seeing an actual paradise or tasting something that tastes like ambrosia but its not the original ambrosia. So,would anybody legitimately feel satiated with a copy of an original after experiencing and being in thrall of “THE ORIGINAL”?

Everything that is replaced in our life at-least for me definitely leaves a void behind which cannot be fulfilled by anything or anybody else. You can definitely make that hole grow lesser in size over a period of time but you cannot replace it wholly and that is indubitably true.

I remember I was having this talk with one of my friends where she felt that she is not being valued enough to be easily replaced by someone else. Even though one may feel that other people might concur with this general idea of replacing them by somebody else but the truth is, they are only replacing a quality or virtue in you by someone who can either quickly imbibe that, imitate that or already has that virtue or quality. So no matter how much anybody belittles you or disheartens you don’t let that get to you. You are a person of your own and nobody can replace that person solely.

Even a small gift given by someone cannot be replaced. So I don’t believe anybody or anything is completely replaceable.One can only substitute a minor part of that whole.