“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” – “I Am the Walrus”, the Beatles
When I judge you, I close my mind to what you have to say. I close myself to the chance that you might be right and I might be wrong. For me, you are the epitome of everything that is flawed and ugly and stupid in this world, and whatever you say or do cannot possibly contribute anything positive to me or the world.
When I judge you, I assume the worst in you. You are the enemy. You become a caricature, not a multifaceted individual capable of both immense good and great evil. I reduce you to a character that only deserves hate, a criminal that only thinks of ways to hurt people. You are a menace to society– and I assume I am the opposite.
When I judge you, I reveal a part of me. I show my fears, my needs, my desires. The picture I paint of you reflects me–the me that I attribute to you, a figure that exists in myself that I try to deny. When I rally people to my side, I conceal that fragment in me which I dislike by focusing their attention to you. You’re the one that needs to be fixed, and not me. You’re the one with the problems; I’m perfect. I refuse to confront my own demons, pretending they do not exist.
When I judge you, I destroy myself as well. I destroy myself by failing to understand that you are a part of me too. I make myself smaller by severing you from myself, because I forget that we are the same – we are one. I allow myself to be consumed by my hate, my anger, my misery. I refuse to learn. I choose to make a dead end out of a crossroad, an intersection. I make brash conclusions. I stop thinking and instead become content in the smallness of my assumptions.
When I judge you, I cannot teach you. And you cannot teach me too. We blind ourselves, both. We let others become blind. All of us are kept in the dark. We do not grow. The possibility ends: it sinks, it becomes finite. I stop asking questions. There are no more what ifs; there is only what is.
When I judge you, deep inside, I am really judging myself too.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.