This one is hard.
Veterinarians quickly learn not to judge our clients. As soon as we judge someone, their heart stops listening to us.
Our job is to collaborate with our clients to find the best solution for them and their pet, but we have to start by believing they care and they are doing the best they can, otherwise they wouldn’t have walked through the door of our practice. It can be challenging to put aside our own assumptions and expectations.
When we try to change the world it is easy to get frustrated that others aren’t on the same page. It seems like they just don’t get it. It just feels easier to retreat to our own community of supporters and commiserate about how everyone else is wrong.
The truth is that none of us have enough seconds in the day or energy in our lifetime to solve all the world’s problems AND THAT’S OKAY.
In fact, maybe that’s good. We don’t have to change the world by ourselves, we can split up the work and teach each other. My brother teaches me about living sustainably, my friend Catie about promoting equality and social justice, my Mom about the importance of local parks to bring communities together.
I’m willing to believe recycling didn’t catch on because the first people who did it told everyone else they were destroying the earth. I bet people saw that their friends and family were recycling, that it wasn’t that hard to do, and that it made people feel good, so they did it too.
Perhaps the hardest person to stop judging is our self. While writing this article I actually was paralyzed by worry over whether you, my lovely readers, would think I was judging you as judgmental. Is that enough of a mind pretzel for you?
Take it easy on yourself too, you can’t do it all. The more we practice being understanding and patient with ourselves, it easier it is to be the same with others.
The next time you feel yourself starting to judge someone, actively choose to find a way to understand them instead. Shift your perspective, or if you’re brave enough, ask them to share their point of view with a heart filled with curiosity. The more we truly understand the greater impact we can have.
Or, just focus on trying to put good things into the world, others will follow your example.
What’s your judgment on this post? Do you agree or disagree? Is there a time you regret judging someone? What strategies do you use to avoid judging others? I’d love to hear your thoughts!