Here we are on election day, which got me thinking about judgement….I have never seen people so disturbed by the state of this country. I have elderly patients who come to see me purely as a result of the anxiety they feel due to listening to the news and struggling so with what is happening. It can be so hard to understand where the other side is coming from and we polarize based on our beliefs. Yet I also know that underneath it all, we are all the same. We are all human, looking for love, happiness, health and relative ease in our lives. For the most part, we all believe in kindness, honesty and compassion. Of course, we do not all practice those things but I have yet to meet anyone who does not believe in the virtue of these traits.
From the time I was very young I recognized that we all have reasons that we do the things we do. I was able to see that behind what might seem like irrational behavior or beliefs, was someone who had a clear reason for what they were doing or believing- whether right or wrong.
I believe there is a reason for everything. We all carry judgement to some extent – even if unconsciously. Yet when we hear the story and reasoning behind someone’s decisions, actions or beliefs, we can much better understand and sometimes even accept where they are at. We may not agree, but just having a full picture helps us to bridge the gap. I experience this daily when I talk with my patients and hear their back story.
Be Curious, Not Judgmental…
Curiosity is the antedote to judgement. If we become curious about other’s beliefs… their thoughts… their experience…their ‘story’ if you will, it can suspend judgement and maybe even hold it off altogether. We can come to understand each other on a personal level which calms the toxic energy that we can otherwise feel between two opposing parties.
Think of how small children are before they have become ‘tainted’ by adult opinions. If they see someone who is different from them, they are curious. They wonder why that person is different but they do not judge them until they learn from us to do so.
So let’s stay curious and let that feed the love this election day.