“I’m human and I have a brain. I can think. That’s why we’re humans, man.”
This is perhaps the most common excuse in the world. In any language, with any combination of words, it sounds the same – lame. When there’s no other recourse, when you know you cannot justify your own conditioning and bad behaviour, you will judge yourself and run to the arms of the above excuse – I’m human.
But ironically it’s because we’re human that we’ve got the ability to pause and contemplate on our behaviours, our magnificence and our own insensitivities all at the same time. Being human means we’re forever striving to be more, do more, grow more, live more. We’re never satisfied with what we have achieved. What lies beyond our ken is far more enticing than what lies in front of our noses. More often than not, most of us are dreamers, dreaming about making it, whatever form the “making it” takes. And in the course of being people, we are so trigger happy to judge people if they don’t fall within the known paradigms of virtue. Tell me if these aren’t true.
a) Fair girl = nice person.
b) Attractive person = nice person, successful person.
c) Hangdog expression = dull, boring, uninteresting
d) Soft spoken, hesitant, shy = dull, loser, won’t amount to much
e) Short-tempered, loud = bold, brash, mean, impatient
f) Tall, slim, attractive woman = great catch, likely to be more successful at work
g) Curvaceous, charming, helpful = maybe an easy lay, dim witted
h) Not too educated, hardworking, not fluent in language = pitiable, tsk tsk, nothing much can be done
i) Diplomatic, manipulative, sly = mostly the verdict is “amazingly successful person”
j) Diplomatic, people-pleaser = amazing,fine human being
k) Reliable, dependable but invisible unless needed – er…do we really care?
l) Husband at home, wife working = loser, why does she tolerate him?
m) Younger woman, older husband = he must be a dirty old man and she must be a moron or gold-digger
n) Soft spoken, penny pincher with a hangdog ‘help me’ expression = poor thing, he needs help, rush, rush, rush even though he could be the meanest, Silas Marner this side of the equator
o ) Outspoken, loud mouthed, short tempered = bloody bitch or bastard
p) Tall, dark, handsome armed with fluency of language = cad, no-gooder, cheat
Am sure you have your own interpretations, and perhaps an even longer and more varied list. I call them judgements. Let’s face it and admit it, we’re all judgemental including parents with their children. I’m guilty of judging people all the time, however hard I try not to fall into that very “human” trap. Yes there are people I don’t like. Why? Because they don’t fall into my definition-box of good, nice, gentle, beautiful or amazing human beings. And how did I arrive at this definition? Who gave me permission to create these definitions and then happily put people into boxes only to dismiss and discard them if they didn’t fit? No one did. I am after all a product of my environment, of my conditioning and a legacy of behaviours and limited understanding. Poor me. (Yes, that’s right, deflect the blame, it’s great to pass the buck!).
Over a period of time, I’ve realised that being judgemental hurts. And you know when it hurts the most? When others are happily playing judge and jury with you in the witness stand. God it feels like hell, when you see people’s minds burgeoning with ideas of who you could be. Why don’t they see me for who I am? Look ma, am good. Look, look here, for God’s sakes, I’m this and that and that and this…not what you think at all. Oh please, don’t do this, please let me off the hook, please I beg of you.
You can writhe in protest all you want, but hey you know, what? Being judgemental is our right. After all, we’re human. Yes, you heard me, we’re human. Now go, lose yourself, you unsightly creature, you of the dark skin and the loud mouth and the brash manner. You must be a sinner! (Sigh!)