Have you ever stopped to think about our ability to judge things? Of course everyone feels they’re making sound judgments most of the time however what information are we using to make these judgments and do they actually benefit us?
In most cases we simply don’t have the perspective or the information to be able to make sound decisions on whether something is good or bad. Generally we are looking at things very short-term and not considering the long-term effects…how could we? We can’t see that far ahead. Take the example of Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the first permanently-implantable artificial heart. His father became ill with heart disease and had to have open-heart surgery, this is when he became interested in medicine and began to think about possible designs for an artificial heart to help people like his father. I’m sure everyone thought it was a horrible thing that this boy’s father had heart issues and yet it spawned the creation of the artificial heart which has affected millions of lives in a positive way!
Most of the time we can’t draw a straight line like this to cause and effect so let’s come at it another way to get a broader understanding. We can see that most change occurs through pain…when people experience enough discomfort, they change things. We can see this with addictions, with policy changes, etc. So, it simply depends on the way we look at things to determine if they are good or bad. Like Global Warming is bad but if we see it as a sign to tell us that what we’re doing to the earth is hurting it, it’s good. If an addict loses their job but it gets them into recovery and they begin a new healthy life with their family and being a benefit to society, then it was a good thing. You get the point.
Some people will take horrible situations and argue the point…the fact is, we simply don’t know. We don’t know how negative things can develop healthy results. And if we don’t know, who are we to judge? The first definition of prejudice is: an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. Most times we don’t have the information or long-term vision to make an informed judgment.
Lastly what’s the benefit of judging everything constantly? There isn’t one. It encompasses us with negativity in such a way that we become hopeless. It’s also bleeds into our daily lives with us judging others, countries, religions and many other things that we simply don’t have the proper information about. However the worst side effect is that we begin to judge ourselves and punish ourselves endlessly for every decision we make regardless of the fact that we didn’t know any better at the time of the decision. It’s much more beneficial to learn from the past, let go of the self-judgment…forgive yourself and do better next time. You deserve your own forgiveness…you simply didn’t know. When you know better, you do better.