Thursday, May 2, 2013

The futility of judging.

     I had a neighbor once. Every time she left her apartment she'd slam her door. I was like, 'She is so angry. What is her problem?'
     Ironically, the woman seemed quite nice whenever I would run into her. But then more door slamming. And again, I was like, 'What is her problem?' For over a year this went on.
     Then the woman moved out, and a janitor was in the hall working on her door. I stopped to talk to him, thinking he was repairing all the damage the slamming had caused. But when I asked him what he was doing, he said, "I have to shave one side of the door down. The door got warped and you couldn't close it without slamming it."
     Ha! So all my thoughts about my neighbor's anger: DEAD WRONG AND A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME.
     So many things can be misperceived when we judge something. For the most part judging is a fool's game. And all the mental and emotional energy that is wasted doing it is immense.
     There's a proverb about a man lying in a boat tethered to a dock in a river. As other boats come downstream and collide with his boat, the man is outraged. Finally, when the man has had enough of these collisions he sits up and sees that all the boats that have collided with him were empty. All his rage (directed at the owners of the boats) was for nothing.
     It's the same with us. Really, why get upset about anything? What's the difference (to continue the analogy) if the boat that collides with ours has a pilot or not. There is no difference in terms of how we are impacted. So why get upset?  
     A car flies by you on the highway at a hundred miles an hour. How do you react? 'Look at that maniac! He's probably drunk!' (The driver could have a bleeding person in the backseat and he's racing to the hospital and in the process saving the person's life.)
     We will never fully know why things happen. We will never fully understand another person's reasons for doing something. To attempt to understand such things is usually a waste of time. Like the saying goes: "It is what it is." Better just to accept reality as it is—mysterious—and get on with your journey.


  1. I don't understand your position. Just because the boats that collided with the man's boat did not have pilots doesn't mean he shouldn't be disturbed by the collisions. I would be even if the universe was the only culprit. Seems like you can accept it and be disturbed but not judgmental.

  2. I understand the logic of what your'e saying, Andrea, and it makes sense. But what I was aiming at was--not getting disturbed. Like the boats are going to ding you now and then, but why get upset no matter what is causing the dings.


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