Why do we, as humans, judge others, and why are we so quick to judge? I get so frustrated by these assumptions, as if they have all the facts and presume to know the specifics of trials in a life not theirs. The internet makes information widely available, and soon people are “experts” on whatever they googled. They feel obliged to inform you how you’re going about things wrong, that it’s the wrong type, wrong method, wrong order.
Society itself is schizophrenic in its views and values. You’re expected to believe in something, so if you’re an atheist you’re marked as a heathen. However, if you’re a Christian, you’re marked as being pushy. And if you bring any sort of sexuality into it all, it will make your brain hurt. If you remain a virgin you’re a prude and naive, but once you have sex you’re a whore, a slut, or a sinner.
Do they not realize they we’re all different? The way I think, the way I learn, the way I feel, and the way I see things are different from the next person. Not to mention the way I feel and believe when it comes to core values and beliefs.
I was raised to be a good person. Respect people, work hard, think for myself… Which brings in yet another contradiction. Thinking for one’s self is a dangerous thing. I start wondering and questioning things that I grew up with, especially after living my adult life and trying to make sense of things myself. And my perspectives changed quite a lot.
The Church preaches from the Bible, “Judge not, lest ye be judged” on the one hand, but would tell us to “avoid the appearance of evil” on the other. Which made me wonder, if we’re not to judge, and I’m doing nothing wrong, why should I worry if it could look “evil” if they’re not supposed to judge? Appearances are never as they seem; a cliche, yes, but quite a true statement in these cases.
Funny how all this goes back to one of the stresses in my life—my family’s pressures for me to find a “nice man” in the Church. They presume to know what would be best for me, what I would want, and how to go about getting it. Little do they know how far against their way of thinking on this that I have become.
I tried dating men from church. The one in high school disappeared from my life with no words to explain what had happened. In college my life was going places that didn’t fit the plans of others. My more recent attempts resulted in men that were hypocrites of the worst sort, presenting themselves as fine, upstanding moral men on Sundays, but in reality were immature, pouting, grabby and deaf children once away from meetings. So four and a half years ago I swore I’d never date a church guy again.
I still find myself at odds with trying to tell my family this (though I have hinted at it to my younger sister). They want me to be happy, but then their ideas of what would accomplish this are far from what actually does. My sister and brother-in-law want me to move to be close to them on the western slope of Colorado. My dad has suggested that I move to Utah, as there’s a large church population there. “That’s where your mother and I met.” That really is the very last place I’d want to go to look for a husband. From what I’ve seen, the church members there are some of the worst offenders of the “judge not” principle.
I know I’m not above this either, and it will take work and conscious effort in order to reach the point that I conquer the natural instinct to jump to conclusions. But I can start it all by not assuming things or believing rumors until I have a chance to come to my own conclusions, based on character and actions. Perhaps someday I’ll be treated to that same courtesy, and perhaps someday my family will understand at least partially what I’ve been through. Or at least respect my decisions that I’ve made because of it.