Letter 21: To the someone I judged by their first impression!

Dear Tada, yada n bada,

Have you guys read ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell? He speaks about ‘thin-slicing’, ‘analysis paralysis’, and how as humans we have the ability to sift through, and focus on critical information. The information that helps us come to immediate conclusions about things, without spending much time.

That ability is important to us – the ability to identify personas, energies, compatibility – the ability to know/feel if we are in danger – (especially for women, what with cases on rapes seeing a steep rise). Anyway, I think first impressions are good, provided we are open enough to change it when we have judged wrongly.

Do you know – one of my best friends and I didn’t really have much good opinion on each other in our first week of getting acquainted. We parted, only to bond again, as we realised we were wrong after all.

When I got this topic, I was wondering who should I address this to.

The answer is not so much of who, but what was in it for me, if I write this letter. There has to be a purpose, right? I don’t really see a purpose in recalling the hows, whys and whos, while ‘what I learnt of it’ makes a lot of sense to me, and that is what I will write about.

Also, if I am seeing you through my experiences and understanding, you are doing the same thing. So who are we to really judge? Because when I see you from a place of love and awareness, I know that you are walking your journey, learning your own lessons, as am I.

[To take a detour: When I thought about writing this letter like how I have written the previous few letters, “with a philosophical stride”, I remembered how couple of my friends told that it was not fair. “You have to address it to a person” they said.

Though they now understand my POV, I mulled some more on what they said: “Was I philosophizing way too much?”

The very next day, Natesh, my-recent-kindred-spirit-on-block, sent me this – ‘Are-you-low-on-allowance?’. A beautiful article on giving allowance to people. I took that as a sign, and decided to philosophize, because that article falls in line with what I wanted to write for this 🙂

The other thought that struck me was the title of this blog: ‘Finding Meaning’. The name just happened, and as I look back, I am seeing how more of my posts have involuntarily taken that form. I made no conscious choice. Likewise, I will let these letters take whatever shape, as long as it falls in line with what my heart feels.Sounds right, eh?]

So what did I learn from knowing you guys?

That – all of us our fighting our own demons. That demarcation is no good, even for the ones we tend to idolize. That the area right underneath the candle is the most dark.

You guys to me were angels.

I was someone who did that. I look up to people rather easily, idolize, and only when I come in their shadows, do I know what mighty demons they need to slay.

Dr. Srikant Sola, in one of his talks, was mentioning how we should put no one at a pedestal. We are all love. Don’t look down on something, or don’t look up to something.

Both of these are hard, especially if you are someone who by habit classifies things as right or wrong.

Through Ripple, I learnt that just because I am doing xyz things, doesn’t mean everybody else will. If I think its wrong to litter, doesn’t mean I can expect everyone else to feel the same. Each of us have our own purpose and learning.

Even as I am trying to get better at the first part of the lesson, this year I learnt the second part of it.

Just because I look up to someone, doesn’t mean they don’t have shortcomings. They could really stoop down in other fields, and that would make you question their greatness.

‘Thin-slicing’. Tricky thing that!

I liked what Natesh Shetty said in his interview about being non-judgemental.

Here is an excerpt:

Yes, it has to be a conscious practice, because being judgemental is almost a second skin to most of us. Until today, we question Ram, because He sent Sita away. We need to stop that. I need to stop that, and as a start, I forgave Ram long ago.

So here I am today, trying, failing and trying again, as these lessons come to me, and it feels wonderful. The more open I find myself to correction, the more signs and assurances I get. What I also realised is how we should be able to laugh at ourselves, as we make these mistakes. I remember in one of my recent trips, I was trying to stay clear of these classifications we subject ourselves to. As always, I was put to test, and as always the results were instant.

I stood as a spectator to few events that unfolded, and I was witnessing how someone was being judged for what they are, or how they act. I decided to not fall in the rut, and empathized the target more. The more I put myself in her shoes, the more I found myself scrutinizing the ones who judged.

The inner voice became clear: ‘You may not be judging the judged, but you are ending up judging the judgers’.

I was like, “Oh god!”, and I immediately stopped, and thanked Him for the lesson.

And even as I am typing this out, I am laughing it away. Because if I don’t, I know what He will tell me – that I am judging my own self. 😀

It’s fun to learn under Him, as is challenging, don’t you think yada, tada, and bada?

Here’s to more learning and unlearning!

Love & gratitude,

SB

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2 thoughts on “Letter 21: To the someone I judged by their first impression!

  1. Lovely post babe. Our world can do with a lot less judgment than it has right now. However I do feel somewhere that judgment comes many times when the judger is not in a place of contentment with self and hence finds the need to use judgment as a crutch to find his place of height in the maze.

    I remember I told you this, that “everyone you meet is fighting their own battles, so be nice”. I think they should have added, “Be nice and Don’t Judge” to that thought :).

    I loved what you wrote about judging the judgers. So true.

    Like

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