I JUDGE PEOPLE. Who doesn’t? And I believe judging people is healthy and because this is how I judge them:
1. Clothes, physical things and attributes cannot conceal what one’s words, actions and thoughts reveal about them.
When I look at people, I do not look at the clothes that they wear or the things that they claim. Those things can be easily guiled.
I grew up reading books about Mahatma Gandhi, St. Therese and Satya Sai Baba. Back then, I never knew why Mom loved sharing those books to me. I wanted to read lengthy fairy tales or have books full of short stories and illustrations, but she always gave me these long, tedious reads about real people. But now I came to realize why. She wanted me to learn about the good in living simply. That people who live simply can also impart a legacy to the world, that material things are but little privileges and not necessarily an advantage.
My relatives on my father’s side are mostly well off. And there was this one grandmother that I remember the most. She owns a hacienda that I believe was handed down to her from generations before her. A dona. Every Christmas, there’d be a lot of her workers in her home, she’d welcome everyone who came to eat. Her house in the city was not a mansion it wasn’t too grand. It was not even on a private subdivision.
You’d come to mistake her for some elderly simple housewife if you’d meet her. She wore no jewels and dons a simple house dress at home. Even when she goes to church or would attend a simple party she never boasts how endowed she really is. She remained humble despite her opulent social standing.
And I believe that is one good example of how we should judge people. We should judge them not with what they wear or what they claim to have. Not even with someone’s color or their jobs.
I have a cousin who buys and sells scraps. That’s a garbageman’s job, yes, and he’s proud of it. He started this business just a few years ago, and no, he’s not one you should undermine. He has a business degree from Ateneo. Even graduated his highschool from La Salle. They are wealthy yes, and starting his business, he started small. He used to go around places personally to buy scrap carton boxes, bottles, papers, etc., my uncle liked joking about he did not expect to have his son take a degree from a premier university only to sell scraps after.
Though I do not despise people who gets to show off what they have. They should be proud of course!
I know of people who loves to flaunt aristocracy on the daily, but never did my respect for them wavered. All because they were undeniably mentally, emotionally and morally rich too. They have big dreams for themselves hand-in-hand with their vision for the community. They have a long string of patience and tolerance thus avoiding bigotry. They know how to stand for themselves and for others too. They have big hearts enough to encompass the needing ones.
Some people are just so rich ‘inside’ I’d choose to be just like them any time of the day.
2. I verify secondhand judgments.
We’ve all heard things about some people. And when I get to meet them personally I find out for myself.
I have met people who some have said ill things about. And for some of them, I didn’t find the persons the way people told me they were. Or maybe I trust people easily, but not fully. I give them my wary faith hoping it grows. If it doesn’t, well at least I gave the person a chance to prove the others wrong.
Also, I don’t define a person by the circle of people that they choose to stick with. As a group, they may have had shared a lot of things and ways in common, but I believe more in individuality. We all have a part of ourselves that we keep to ourself when with our group. No matter how regularly the group had been doing things you’d all have differences, different take about things, different views and opinions.
And also, I do not judge people by their past. It would be wrong to judge them by that. I judge people by who they are presently. We all have had our share of unfortunates in the past, and that counts as to who and what you are at the present. Besides, people change. You who must have gone a lot of changes in the past few years must know that already.
I judge them on a firsthand basis, I prefer to not let other people’s words, clique and their pasts define them who they are. Who you are at the present is how I see you.
3. When I say I judge people, I also mean that I judge them not as “good” and “bad”. I judge them as “good” and as “better” people.
It’s like when you are in the grocery, why settle for good when it’s of the same price of the better ones?
People have their own evils and you can’t judge them by a single act or instance, we all have our hardships in life and that maybe is one root of let’s say a rudeness they never got over with.
I also believe that there will always be good in people. We all have our inner goodness that we forget to tap. A wider sense of humanity and compassion that some must have forgotten for a while.
Though it doesn’t mean that I always prefer the “better ones” over the “good ones”. Sometimes I prefer being with the “good ones” so we can guide ourselves to more improvement. You learn things side-by-side, and it’s more fun to learn Life that way!
I do believe that if I applied my own judgment scheme to myself, I’m a “good one”. And chances are, when I meet “better” people, I try to learn how they become like that, I try to get to know them, hoping someday I can be just like them.