If you are shopping, your choice is guided by judging which brand of butter is better than another; if you are watching the news, you are judging each item as good or bad, happy or sad, annoying or boring; hearing about rainfall to come in a relatively parched west country will be judged as welcome news, while the same report for Whaley Bridge, overwhelmed by water already, is viewed as a disaster. Judgment guides emotion and choice, and is a natural part of being human.
The rightness of judgment is not as straightforward as it may look, however. It comes in a number of forms: additional to court judgements (with a different spelling) that usually are ruling on guilt or innocence, we have objective decision-making based on common sense such as “should I take an umbrella with me if it is going to rain?” Subjective judgment is based on bias, belief and hope such as “Brexit is bad” or “of these two people wanting to be in my life, I judge this one to be right for me and I hope it works out”. Objectivity and subjectivity often can come together in forming a judgment, in buying a car, for example, where the practical criteria about affordability and size are influenced by preference on colour and optional extras.
Subjectivity in judgment can become tricky when it inhibits our ability to see a different point of view from our own: “I don’t like Brexit, and I know I am right and you are wrong.” This lack of fair judgment can lead, quickly, to blinkered criticism – “Boris is an idiot and everything he does is wrong” – and it can further develop a tendency to have close-minded opinions and to malign other people hurtfully and unjustifiably.
When we judge someone critically for being a drug addict or being fat, for being of a different colour or for being noisy, it helps no-one; indeed, our unconstructive negativity serves only to cast a shadow on our soul.
It can be hard to be non-judgmental: the music from a local festival was so loud this weekend it kept me awake until 4 a.m., as happens every year that this “family event” takes place a few miles away across the river from where I live. Each time I struggle to remember that it gives pleasure to some people, that it only happens for three nights once a year, and that I am so lucky otherwise to be living in a place of peace and stillness. It would be easy to sink into annoyance, self-pity and complaining, but I know after several years’ experience of winning and occasionally losing the struggle it would achieve nothing.
It is an objective comfort to remember that it is not for me to deliver punishment through thought or deed for anything, but that the Universe will determine in its own time and way if and how fair retribution for a wrongdoing should be made. If the organisers of the festival have broken their licence through breaching noise levels and exceeding the hours permitted, they will be given the perfect reminder of their rights and wrongs in time to come.
It is salutary for me to remember, too, that if I over-react or judge unfairly, I will get back what I have given out. Thankfully, the Law of Karma works in reverse also, and when we do what is right or good, we are blessed a hundredfold in return.
Our challenges occur when we interfere with or do not heed the voice of reason and of love that is Spirit. Listen, always, to the wisdom of the Universe, for when we let the Universe guide our life as impartial judge, protector and loving support, all is well and we can be at peace.