Idiots and Monsters

The problem with all of our judgements about others

‘He’s an idiot’

‘She’s a monster’

‘He’s useless’

is that they turn the other person into a non-person, a label, an object upon which we can project all of our frustration, all of our disappointment, all of our despair.

Fantastically powerful in maintaining our own self-esteem, judgements give us a sense of self only because they strip the other person of most of their self-hood. How much love, care, dignity, integrity can we see in another – however angry or frustrated we are – while we have them be an idiot, a charlatan, a waster?

Our judgements conveniently blind us to our own contribution to the very situation which matters to us so much. As long as ‘he’s a crook’ we’re freed from our capacity – and our responsibility – to speak up, to make requests, to listen, and to break out of the patterns that are our own part in keeping the difficulty going.

And, most of all, our judgements absolve us of the responsibility to understand the other in their fullness, stifling our interest in what about them and their lives has them behave in this way. And they stop us bringing the necessary compassion and wisdom that’s always required to find if we want to find our way out of the prison of our frustration, resentment, disappointment and anger.

Photo Credit: Catherinette Rings Steampunk via Compfight cc

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