It feels like in our society that sometimes we aren’t as accepting of some people as we could be. Acceptance of ourself can be hard at times, let alone others. However if we wish to find peace within ourself and enjoy harmonious relationships, then it’s worthwhile applying some effort to learning to accept all the different types of people we come across
It also seems in our society that judgement, its opposite, is often celebrated. This certainly comes through in some of the various forms of media we are regularly exposed to. This exposure can make it feel like a fairly normal thing to do, and it can seem quite harmless. After all it’s just normal to judge other people isn’t it?
Unfortunately it does seem to be normal to judge. Judgement tends to arise when we see something different in another person or group of people. Maybe it’s something we don’t understand or don’t like for whatever reason. In one sense it can feels like things are set up in such a way that lends them to judgement. Fashion, for example, appears to dictate what is ‘in’ what is ‘out’
So for people who are fashionable and know about this stuff it might feel very natural for them to judge. Those they consider not to have met the threshold of fashionability, people like myself, are looked down upon as inferior
Even when I look within my own mind I can still see a fair amount of judgement. Being a painful state of mind then it’s not like I choose it to be there, it arises from conditioning. But we can learn to let that go as explained in this article, and in this way start to gain control over our mental environment
Maybe we can see this in our minds too. We don’t need to judge it of course, but it can be helpful to understand how we developed this habit. This in turn can help us in the process of letting go of all the non-acceptance
For the most part I would say it comes from learned behaviours. The media and tv seem to condition people to develop prejudices towards certain factions of society. Maybe we were even subjected to particular prejudices during our upbringing which, due to familiarity, we took on ourselves
Invariably we’re all exposed to intolerance and judgement, whether directed at us or simply observed in others. It’s very difficult for us not to be affected by this. And subconsciously at least, many of us will tend to adopt such behaviours when exposed to them often enough
Learning to appreciate others
One way to start to overcome such views is, rather than focusing on the differences between people, we start to appreciate their unique qualities. Maybe their fashion style isn’t to our tastes but so what? They’re obviously happy with their dress choices. Can we appreciate that people have different dress senses (and sometimes radically so) and be ok with that? I mean if it’s making them happy and not harming anybody then why not?
Maybe we see someone from an ethnic minority and we can think ‘wow that’s really cool, I’d love to know about their culture and customs’. So instead of resisting or rejecting what we don’t understand we’re allowing our mind to be more open and flexible. And it’s a good feeling!
Furthermore everyone has a story. Essentially we’re all a product of what’s happened to us in the past. I say this because it can feel very justified to judge those who are critical of us. To judge the people who cause us problems by being unreasonable. And then beyond that the murders, rapists, terrorists and so forth
But we can consider whether any child ever makes a conscious decision to grow up to be someone that harms others. In fact, it’s important to recognise that the people who do harm others in any way at all, are also harming themselves
Engaging in such actions requires the painful motivations that underlie them. No-one would choose to generate such negative ways of thinking if they had absolute freedom of mind. And for those who engage in such actions, frequently their behaviour arises from having had a history of pain being inflicted on them too. So often it can be the case of the victim becoming the perpetrator
Maybe many of us have been one or both at one point or another and so can appreciate this first-hand
Letting go of judgement
Being judgemental is a painful way of being. How good does it feel just to be able to accept people as they are, without needing them to change? If we could choose not to judge others wouldn’t we want to? A friend told this story of how he and his ex were once surrounded by guys who demanded money from them
My friend didn’t want to give them any money but, to his surprise, his partner happily handed over all of his. When my friend later commented on how they weren’t nice people his partner said ‘we don’t know what made them that way’
I thought that was such an amazing point of view to have. It’s so easy to judge, but if we can try, just a little, to see the perspectives of others, then it opens up our mind. We start seeing people and the world in a very beautiful and precious way
Learning to accept people as they are makes us feel happy and at peace. Whenever our happiness is based on people needing to act in certain ways it leaves us vulnerable. But if we can remain open and accepting then this will protect us and we’ll gradually learn to embrace the differences in everyone we see and meet. This will leave us feeling fulfilled and cause all those who come into contact with us to feel cherished and important.