Change Judgment by Compassion

“This morning I saw Mery at the school, and she appeared very messy—without combing her hair, wearing a tracksuit—and she didn’t greet me as she passed by.” “Ana no longer drinks dairy or eats sugar because she wants to lose weight. What a fool!” “Look at that girl taking a selfie; she thinks she’s beautiful.”

How often do we find ourselves judging others based on their appearance, personality, or attitude? It’s so easy and free to give an opinion without reflecting on it, but do you know the story behind the appearance or behavior you’re judging? Maybe Maria couldn’t sleep the night before because her son was sick, and she didn’t have the time or energy to get ready. Taking care of her son was more important to her at that moment than looking presentable. Ana might be avoiding sugar because of a health condition or simply to improve her well-being. And the girl taking a selfie could be a fashion blogger wanting to showcase her outfit.

These are just a few possible explanations, but there could be others. Only the person themselves knows the truth behind their actions. The reality is that behind every judgment lies a story. Instead of succumbing to the coldness of judgment, take a step further and show interest in the person’s story. Ask questions or simply ponder what might be the explanation behind their actions. Feeling compassion, being understanding, and empathizing benefit not only others but also yourself. These emotions generate more positive results than judgment. We all judge at some point, some more than others.

What’s important is recognizing when we do it and making a conscious effort to replace judgment with understanding. Pay attention, and you may be surprised to discover how often you judge without realizing it. But once you identify these judgments, you can take steps to change your mindset. When you catch yourself making a judgment, pause to analyze it and consider alternative explanations. Replace judgment with compassion, and cultivate inner peace and love.

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