We are apt to call barbarous whatever departs widely from our own taste and apprehension. But soon [we] find the epithet of reproach retorted on us. —David Hume—
Judging others is a hazardous game that’s likely to backfire. Labeling others is a form of judgment. It’s a way of sticking people into pigeonholes and saving ourselves the effort of thought. Do we really want to be thoughtlessly tossed by others into some category not of our choosing?The world’s rich texture holds much that each of us will love, and much to which well be indifferent. How much more pleasant it is to look for—and to find—what we like, rather than to sneer at and judge what we don’t. A need to judge others is a sign that we lack confidence in our own taste an indication of shaky self-esteem.
Our personal growth asks us to look positively at life. We want to find occasions for rejoicing, not disapproving. The thoughtless and intolerant teach others that they themselves are not worthy of respect. I will set aside my judgment of others and concentrate instead on freeing myself.