On Judgement and Unsolicited Advice

Let he among us
Without sin
Be the first to condemn

An excellent quote from my favorite musical, Rent. I’ve got various New Year’s resolutions that I’m keeping up with. Perhaps one that I didn’t formally declare to myself is to be more loving and open and understanding of people and not judge them at face value.

It’s not that I can’t comprehend or understand why people would be quick to judge others, because I have been one of those people. It’s easier to point out others flaws rather than look at your own and work on yourself and your problems.

However, it is worthy to note that when we make judgments on people, we do not know everything about that person or what that person is going through. And just because they choose to share varying degrees of information about their life or parts of their lives, does not at all mean that we as viewers know the full of story or should we ever assume that we do. Most people choose to share just a tip of the iceberg of their lives with others. Whether it be publicly, such as a blog like this, or privately and intimately with their friends and family.

To assume we know better than that person is false. While the actual idea of knowing better than them could very well be true, we are judging subjectively. We can never know a person unless we are that person. Even the most open of people still has secrets or parts they wish not to share with others. So while we may very well be better versed in varying parts of life than others, it does not mean others wish to bypass learning the lesson themselves.

Just because we can give advice, doesn’t mean we should. Unsolicited advice, especially when it comes in the form of criticism (constructive or not [I personally think “constructive” criticism is fucking bullshit]) is nearly never accepted well. Sure, it can make a person look at whatever situation they’re in objectively. But it can also ignite a firestorm that’ll burn many around them should they get too close during the heat.  People don’t like to hear “the truth” or other people’s view points on their lives. It’s a fact of life. And who are we to give it to them? Everyone is here to learn their own lessons and their own pace, not be chided by their peers for making mistakes.

So before you decide to be someone’s “wake up call” maybe you should step back and think about whether that person is already aware of their problems and is working on fixing them.

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