People have heard me say that my dear mother was an Olympic criticizer. She labeled people and made snap judgments about them. So how did I not inherit that trait? I did! And then I was blessed to work with lots of families when I taught school, when I taught parenting for 60 years, when I worked with at-risk kids, and especially when I worked with gang kids. I saw that each person has a story and that their behavior is a bi-product of the events in their story. Their outward appearance and true identity may not match.

It is my belief that everyone has a core goodness that gets distorted/damaged by the people and events in their lives. When I learned to focus on that core goodness, then there was nothing to judge!

I also saw that I project an opinion based on what was taught to me and from my own negative experiences. Often what I see is only the cream on top of the hot chocolate when there is something good below.

Two ways that I got myself to stop judging others were (1) Love or fear, and (2) A penny in a jar. I read in one of Marianne Williamson’s books that we either live in love or fear. One side of the coin is up at a time. I’d hear myself think a critical thought and asked, “Did that come from love or fear?” If it came from fear, I stopped and sent a positive comment to the person I had just slammed.

My dear friend and co-author of Project Self-Esteem, Peggy Bielen, and I would put a nickel in a jar each time we said a word we were trying to eliminate from our vocabulary. In this case, whenever I caught myself issuing a judgment on someone, I would have to find a nickel and put it into a little purse I carried. Getting the nickel caught my attention, inviting me to be a more loving person.

Do you like to be judged? Do you feel defensive and hurt because you are more than that judgment?

Then why would you judge others? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

No one will thrive and grow from your judgment. What you see may not be the truth. And, if you choose to be a more loving person you will change the world and your own life.

Please share with friends and family!

Scott A. McDaniel photo