“As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes.” ― Mel Brooks
My father had what seems to be a pretty workable rule: judge others by what you see in the mirror. His intent was that we should be very much aware of our own faults and shortcomings before daring to judge anyone else’s. That sounds like a pretty good maxim and is probably applicable in a lot of cases. Yet, when we don’t like what we see in the mirror we are less likely to accept what we see in others, perpetuating a cycle of loathing that ultimately leads to destruction in one form or another. Without a reasonably healthy sense of self-esteem one’s base value system is likely to be askew.
Others would attempt to follow the direction of, “judge not, lest you be judged.” Zero judgement. I think there’s a gym that tries to apply that reasoning, hoping that people who are intimidated by the muscle-bound will use their facility to become more healthy. Yet, just as with any other gym, most people pay for the membership and never actually go. A certain amount of judgement is absolutely necessary. Are you healthy? Will you fit in those jeans without having to grease your thighs? Can you be trusted to handle the scissors without hurting yourself? Going through life without making any judgements at all can be quite dangerous.
Judgements we make today don’t always hold up to future scrutiny. Sure, we can justify our decisions at the moment, but is our thought process in the heat of some emotion as objective as it perhaps should be? Rarely do we take the time to let something just sit, making no decision at all, until we can approach the matter rationally. Yes, some situations are more urgent than others, but isn’t one sign of intelligence the ability to know not only what decision to make, but when to make that decision? While waiting six years to process this image is extreme, might there have been a benefit to waiting a month or so before deciding to shelve it completely?
Maybe looking in the mirror a bit more often is a good idea. Taking a check of reality and one’s relation to it might be an activity in which we should all engage a little frequently. Not only might that give us a better grasp of the immediate tasks before us, but perhaps it would help prevent whatever it is that leads one to walk into a church and kill nine people.
Or maybe we’re all just idiots. Your call.