Pages

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Judged!


People are larger than life or smaller depending upon the pair of eyes that is observing them and on the mind that analyzes these sights. We, based on our observations create an image of a person to be extraordinary and then when that image behaves in a manner unacceptable or our perception of perfection, we tag him/her with names. Most often it is people, their judgments and their rules that make someone popular or infamous. A very good example in front of us is Swami Nitayananda who has recently been on headlines for all the so called wrong reasons. His doings are debatable and hence I do not wish to bring that up but what strikes to me is how people change their perspective towards a person. He is the same today as he was yesterday but all that has changed is how we look at him based on our judging capabilities, our strong opinions of how others should behave and our perception of perfection that we want to see in others.

This could happen to someone famous or to people around us. We tend to see someone as an astonishing person and we create image of him/her which is larger than life and then as days pass we expect the person to behave in the way we have perceived of him/her; when they do not, the image is shattered and behind it is a very common man.

I can’t agree with Virginia Woolf any less when she writes- “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.” Every moment as one is observing us, we become a prisoner of an opinion. I am presently reading a lot of stories on common people who have done extraordinary things, “India today” list 20 great innovations and “The Hindu” frequently records stories of farmers who have made small innovations in their field to ease their burden at a nominal price. And in many of these stories there was one common sentence everywhere – “People always laughed at him, calling him insane.” And we still quote examples of a Galileo or a Socrates.

During late 2007, I was very fond of Script writing and hence joined a script writing workshop. Everything went well until the instructor shared one thought – Observe people with a critical perspective; ask questions – What are they thinking? Did they have illegal relationship? Only then can you come up with a good character definition and a story line. When I came back home, I hated that learning. We all do it, we question others actions and credibility and this statement made me conscious of that truth. It had made me aware of the fact that we humans judge others so easily. I gave up script writing soon after the course and it is taking me a lot of time to unlearn this teaching; teaching not just from the course but from childhood, where we are compared with siblings, neighbours, classmates through competitions, marks we score in exam, games we play, friends we make etc. I would love to observe people but I don’t want to judge them, I don’t want to be skeptical.

I recently read an interview of director Mahesh Manjarekar where he says – “I rather be a farmer growing tomatoes because he shall have a satisfaction of having created something without being judged.” Great thought but I really doubt that. We perhaps cannot escape the judgments but can only ignore them; earlier the better.

17 comments:

  1. one of the best posts ive read today..problem is we are busy judging and evaluating each other that we forget we are victims of perceptions too..for me, there is just one pair of eyes that matters and thats mine

    ReplyDelete
  2. lakshmi Very true...all that matters is what we think abt ourself. NOthing else should

    ReplyDelete
  3. All too true- it is easy to judge and yet so wrong. There is a cute video going around on Youtube which is called "Don't judge too quickly" (or something like that) - and it puts into perspective how we often leap to conclusions without knowing the full story. We need to be slow to pass judgement.

    Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anjuli - :-) i did see some videos on Youtube by that name. Cool one's. These are situational and there are some more judgments that are intentional.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I stay away from religion most of the time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mridula - I am not sure why you said that...I am not talking of religion here.

    ReplyDelete
  7. nice painting there!!

    okay now we can ignore their judgment, but how do we unlearn judging ourselves with their yardstick... ?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anupama - Thanks... The article came first and inspired the painting.

    I am not sure if I may be giving the right answer for every situation. What i have learnt is, when i ignore others opinion, i ignore their measuring method too, According to me one never needs to judge oneself...if one learns to flow with the moment and become instinctive. I do soemthing because i like doing it....kind of attitude.

    And all being said, i know it is the hardest thing to do, in the type of society that we live in whihc keeps traping us back with their net of words.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think this is something that is hard to put into words, but you have managed it!
    But Judging a person in a certain way; having expectations and then being proved wrong, is worth the whole process for me:)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Awesome! In life, one finds a great deal of peace when one does not exercise the power of judgement upon his fellow beings!

    Brilliant write!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Kish - Well even though the process is worth allt hat, dont you agree that you have failed yourself rather than the person being judged? Perhaps its our (always) unrealistic expectations on others that fail us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Nice blog Ajeya. This blog made me remember a nice quote which i read recently “The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it.”

    ReplyDelete
  13. @Lakshmi

    But that may lead to narcissism:p

    @Ajeya

    But only when we're wrong about someone, we try not to make the same mistake next time; or have certain 'expectations':p

    ReplyDelete
  14. Interesting view. However, I find that not-judging is very difficult to achieve. There are so many people in the world, we can refer them as passerbys. As we get to know them better; some become acquaintances, friends, while a few develop into an intimate relationship or buddies. If we don't have some sort of criteria; it is almost impossible for us to attain the threads of relationship we have now. Is it not true that everyone has to be judged in order to develop something like friendship and love? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Edmund - Love and friendship is based on compatibilty and comfort zone you share. But a step ahead....would it be of any good if you judge your friend or love? I think we should never judge people and it always does bad...Let people be as they are and you accept them for what they are but not what they could be.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Perhaps the best time for me to have read this post Ajeya. It is indeed the most frequently faced hurdle for me. Thanks a lot.
    Would be learning to ignore ...as early as i can. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sure Mak...All that should matter is our understanding of what we are not not what others expect from us.

    ReplyDelete

Your thoughts are valuable and encouraging! So, please leave back a comment.