Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Pharisee Within

There lies inside all men the tendency to judge others. And this is the reason why no one has been spared from being victims of other people’s judgment. To judge is to evaluate based on preconceived criteria. It is a process by which one appraises another using a standard that he has adopted or created.

The curious thing is, people engage in it quite often. Everyone has an opinion about everything. Social media in fact encourages it, which is why self-expression is practically unbridled nowadays. We say anything that comes to mind about anyone and hide behind the convenient excuse that it is a right. Sadly, many do not fully appreciate what that right entails, which often becomes a source of conflict between people.

To judge others is to place oneself above them. Pride often moves people to believe in their own dominance over others. Some people may delude themselves into thinking that they are smarter or morally better than others. To judge others can sometimes be a product of bias and prejudice.  Judging others can also be a subtle form of projection because it may be a way of seeing in others, what one despises in one’s self. Judging others can be a mask behind which people hide. By pointing out the flaws in others, their own flaws remain unnoticed. Judging others may also be motivated by envy. Sometimes people downplay the good fortune that others receive by saying that it is undeserved or that it was obtained unfairly.

There are numerous reasons why people judge. However, doing so does not make one’s own life better or happier. Judging others only reveals one’s prejudice, pride, envy or insecurity.  It is an admission of the kind of pitiful mind one possesses. It is a sickness of those who have nothing better to do than to meddle in other people’s lives.

The words of the gospel should be a reminder that to judge others is to be like a Pharisee who sees only his own holiness and looks down upon sinners.  And having this pharisaical delusion may lead to one’s downfall in the end. People are meant to live their lives according to their own wishes. Accepting and respecting this fact allows peace and harmony not just between people but also within oneself.

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