“We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgement of the intellect is only part of the truth.” Carl JunG
When do you most often make judgements about others? What are those judgements based on? Do they reflect how you feel as well as how you think?
(Thank you, Joanne for the word “judgement” for today’s topic. My next blog will be based on a word that begins with “K” so please leave some suggestions in the Comment box. Thanks for your help!)
When you notice yourself making a judgement about a person’s opinion or behavior, do you know where that judgment originates? Is it based on what you think, what you feel, or your spiritual or political beliefs?
Webster’s definition of judgement is “the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing.” This definition supports the process that includes an intellectual activity in which we recognize patterns of details, noticing their similarities or differences, and draw conclusions based on this information.
This describes a good process, a wise way of evaluating a situation and deciding the best course of action to follow. But is this the process we often use to make a decision? Not always. We all have different tendencies when it comes to decision making and we all have an emotional and a spiritual self in addition to our intellect.
We Fear Being Different
Many of the racist attitudes we see in others are clearly not formed from the intellect. Often people accept their parents’ or friends’ attitudes because that’s what one does to fit in. We don’t want to feel separate because that feels lonely and is scary. It may also put us in danger if we don’t follow the same path.
Last week I asked this question about integrity: What if a woman can’t feed her children and steals food from a store so they have something to eat? When you read that, what judgement did you make? Your intellect might have said, “She broke the law and she should have been arrested.” Emotionally, you may have felt sorry for her and hoped she got away with it. Your spiritual self may have forgiven her wrong doing and prayed that she could find a way to safely feed her children.
Notice The Source Of Our Decisions
When we make a judgement, we need to be aware of the source of our decision. Our best decisions usually come from a wholistic awareness. We notice the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a situation to determine what we need to do. In this case, our whole selves are making the best decision possible.
Hopefully over time, our experiences teach us the best way to determine the basis of our actions. That doesn’t mean we always get to do what we “want” to do. Sometimes I’m prediabetic – just barely. But I don’t want to be diabetic, although my mother was and my brother is. Every day I have to put my emotions in my pocket and choose, not the food I’m craving filled with sugar, but the food that is healthy for me.
This decision is intellectual in the sense that it is reasoned. I am aware of the scientific evidence of the effect of sugar on people like me, but it is also emotional. How much do I care about myself? If I choose to harm myself, I certainly won’t feel better. When I do what’s best for me, it becomes easier to do what’s right because I feel good about myself and want to keep feeling better.
When we care enough about our well-being to make wise and healthy decisions, we not only can accept our friends and family making their best choices, but it is easier for us to accept and support them. If their choices are different from ours, we simply accept they have different desires and needs and don’t view their decisions as actions taken against us.
When we can see ourselves and others as a whole, we are more likely to make the wisest choices, and are more able to accept the diversity in life.
© 2020 Georganne Spruce
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AWAKENING TO OUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS
A good piece. Makes me think about the roots of my sometimes snap judgments. I like the expression. You used “put my emotions in my pocket”.