Usually (Here’s why your parents want you to stick to the career you picked initially)
Why those who think that their past choices ruined their lives are always wrong

We can’t help it (on judging and comparing)

[ 3 min read ]

We can’t help judging other people’s ways of living their lives.
Live and let live is the hardest.
I wonder if anybody can do it, really.
If anybody can refrain from judging, if only for half a day.
I guess most would find it difficult to refrain from it for an hour or for a couple of minutes. Couple of seconds seems doable though.
Our conversations will inevitably touch on this topic, sooner or later. Probably because we constantly want to probe if the people we associate with think like we do.

Maybe we need this?
Maybe its ingrained in us for a reason?
But what is this reason?
Can it be that we need it to convince ourselves (more) that what we do is the right thing?
What would happen if we wouldn’t judge? Would we lose this conviction and doubt ourselves (more)?

Maybe it’s a crucial component of some important mechanism in us? And the downside of it is that we always compare ourselves and what we do to others and what they do?
Maybe, stripped of this component, we wouldn’t be able to make any decision at all because we would lack the ability to compare two or more things?
Maybe without it we wouldn’t be able to form and join movements and circles?

How the heck would we differentiate our tribe from other tribes? A tribe, a movement, a circle, they need to be about something, otherwise nobody would give a damn about them. And somehow we can’t function without these associations. Somehow we feel bad when we’re alone, the only weirdo in a family or class or neighborhood.
That’s why we never stop looking for people like us (offline and, in recent years, also online).
We feel good among like-minded people, don’t we? We immediately want to be friends with them or their partners.

Maybe we need it in order to establish a connection with another human being? When we have nothing in common it’s freaking scary and awfully difficult to deal with the other person. We prefer to avoid any contact with them. Of course we will deal with them anyway because oftentimes we don’t have a choice, but it’s not nice and we feel like something pushes us back (and they’re in a similar situation) when we have very little in common (or think / assume that we have very little in common, but are wrong — but our perception is the reality to us, not the true nature of things).

Our ability to form movements based on ideas and beliefs and cooperate with other human beings is our greatest strength. It’s what differentiates us form other species, they say.

What would happen to this strength if we were to rid ourselves of our ability to judge and compare? In order to compare we first need to form some judgement. We need judgement to be able to say which is the thing we prefer. Without judgement (or whatever we want to call this functionality) we wouldn’t be able to join any movement. We would be chronically indecisive.

And what if my looking at my neighbors (or other people in my life) and comparing their choices and their attitudes and their ways of living their lives is necessary, and what if getting rid of it would make one a social invalid, which, taking into consideration the fact that we’re all part of the society, would mean the end of that person because he or she would be incapable of forming any relationship with anybody?

But do we absolutely need to share our observations with those who are different than us and imply that since we don’t understand their ways (of living their lives) there is something wrong with the these ways? I think this is not necessary. This only creates bad feelings and a lot of friction. I guess we do it because we believe that we know something they don’t and we hope to enlighten them. But there is a problem — more often than not they have an identical belief (that they know something we don’t and they hope to enlighten us).