Who's Judging Who?
Who's Judging Who?
By Kathy Ryndak and Gord Riddell
It is hard not to wonder what the impact is on us when much of popular culture and media is based on reality shows, legal shows and political commentary. True they can, at times, be entertaining. However most of what is on television as well as in tabloids and many other printed media is geared to point out who is wrong, who is weak and who just doesn’t live up to someone’s standards. Even sports events are made up of announcers and fans alike yelling as to what the players should have done and how big a mistake they just made. So if much of our “entertainment” is made up of judges and people who believe they know exactly what is right and what is wrong, could this affect us personally as to how we feel and behave? Absolutely!
One effect possibly is to believe that somewhere out there is a rule book that states who and how we are supposed to be. Sometimes it may feel like we are the only person who did not receive the rule book when we arrived because everyone else seems to know all the answers as to how my life should be lived. Another effect is, it makes wanting to change so very difficult because what if we make a wrong decision or worse, not even sure of what or how to change, and then risk being judged. Since there is so much talk that everything must change in order for the planet and for humanity to change it seems we have a real problem here. The fear of judgment is crippling change and there are so many “experts” that portray themselves to know exactly what we need to do.
There is no disagreement that things need to and are changing from the financial world to our approach to the environment but very slowly. However you cannot change human institutions and beliefs without the people who have developed these things needing to change first. It is impossible to change a structure unless everything within the structure is shifted as well, even if ever so slightly. This applies to buildings, institutions and belief systems. It appears most everyone agrees that change must occur on this planet in order to survive, to share our wealth, alleviate poverty, provide health care and create equal rights for all. These things cannot just be legislated and everyone will change their belief and all will be well. A prime example is the U.S. human rights movement of the 1960’s leading to up 2008 with the election of the first black President. It took over forty years (more than an entire generation) for enough people to shift their beliefs so that all races were truly eligible to hold the office of President. In order for this to happen though, enough people had to change within themselves for the structure to actually shift. It appears North America is still shifting when it comes to woman leaders though.
Popular culture can play a much needed role in educating and helping to shift our ideas, however the emphasis seems to be so centered on who’s right and who’s wrong. Any mistake, putting you in the wrong category, risks massive public exposure and ridicule. You could even be voted off the island! This is where the damage can occur because who wants to be centered out for decisions we may have made. It is stopping many, unconsciously, from stepping out and creating change within themselves. What if we are wrong?
From a spiritual perspective, we have no idea why people are here, what we are here to learn, to experience for our own soul’s growth. The judgments that occur diminishes individuality and acts as if, collectively, we are all here to do and to learn the same thing, which we believe, is not the case. Individually we are here to follow our own soul’s path, to learn and experience what we personally need to accomplish from having a physical life. Collectively, through our learning and co-operation, we can help to change structures but only if individuality is held sacred. The fear of standing out and being judged is interfering with our personal and collective growth. It can diminish the possibilities for change within organizations as people fear being admonished for thinking in a new way and possibly creative way.
We have slowly internalized this climate of judgments starting from the rules and regulations of our family who instilled within us what was acceptable behaviour to stay in that family, through to peer pressure in our teens which instilled a new set of rules in order to belong. This process internalized all the rules, real or perceived, into a great big sub personality called the Judge which resides within our psyche. The Judge will admonish us from within if we act or say anything that may be outside of the rules for which this Judge presides. It truly keeps us in line. You could also call him the critic when we get into those negative moods that include an ever ending flow of self deprecating internal statements. The Critic and Judge team up as they view the world and pass judgment on all who do not live up to their criteria. This one is mostly OK, that other person is definitely not!
The danger here is we are evolving into a less tolerant society, including of our self. This lower level of tolerance fueled by fear and judgment stands in the way of making real change both within our self and within the society. The human psyche is stuck in maintaining the status quo. We see the same issues played out over and over again. On a larger scale, financial greed, power mongering and hoarding; on a smaller scale, we are all struggling with our issues that keep recycling to the surface because we never take the risk to step forward into something new and different.
What needs to change is how we allow fear of judgment to keep us in place. If we really believe the world and it is institutions really need to change then we must be prepared to change as well. Stop judging our self and stop judging others. This is not new – Jesus spoke this 2000 years ago! We really have no idea what it is we are here for and what we are actually supposed to be learning at a soul level. How could we possibly presume to know what others are here to learn? Enough reality TV, enough with the judges and the so called experts. One thing for certain is we are all here at this pivotal point in human and earth history because we all chose to be here and we all chose, at some level, to be instruments of change in our history.