The reason why we judge others is because we assume they want the same things in life that we do. Once we begin to view people as independent beings, we will respectfully consider their choices.
You see, everyone has a life path; a journey they’re on.
Along the way, they invite others to join them for the ride. People who are moving in the same direction and who essentially want the same things.
Because daily living is hard and replete with logistical challenges, we often want to do life with people who practically make our burdens lighter and who endow the experience with joy.
The challenge is many people are about control. They are not really invested in the wellbeing of others. They simply want to dominate, dictate and shape others to their liking. That is wrong.
There’s a quote I love so much. I will paraphrase it. “Do not by standing in my light, take away from me that which you cannot give.” In other words, if you can’t help me on my journey, shift, so others can find me.
I once met a wonderful gentleman who wanted a marriage with 5 children.
As I am past the season of raising children, I mentally shifted away from his light. To be sure, we had a friendly conversation first. But it comprised open-ended questions and no judgement.
So, I did NOT say things like:
“In this day and age? What are you looking for with 5 children?”
“You should really explore adoption. Do you want to kill your wife?”
“What in your past informed this decision? You must have had a previous traumatic experience to compensate with so many children.”
Instead, I said:
“That’s so lovely. I really admire nurturers and fathers. Would you care to share more on your desire for a large family?”
That question sparked a lively and honest discussion. We were open to each other’s viewpoints, in the event we could learn something new and find reasons to be more flexible & to grow.
We eventually parted ways as friends. This is because we wanted different things in life and were heading in different directions.
So today I ask – “Is someone standing in your light? Are you standing in someone else’s light? Are you trying too hard to live another’s life and vice versa?”
For more, please read The Responsibility of Success.