Lazarus Kauffman

I am still wondering why I judge people? Why do I have to place my own expectations in others and suddenly people will fall from my own understanding of grace. I am such a raw person and my emotions and feelings continue to betrayed me. Two weeks ago I decided to erase people from my facebook account and keep only those people who I felt a connection. Most of the people I took away from my profile never requested me again, except one. When I came back from my spring break I had request from someone I erased earlier. I thought that he was not going to notice my action towards him, but of course, as most of the time I was wrong. Henry Nouwen said, “We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive”. This person was placed in my “dislike people drawer” just because of a couple of misunderstandings we have had; so my human nature decided to push him away. My self-center, egocentric and selfish persona decided that he had no more space in my life without not even talk to him about it. Yes! I judged him. WHAT? I did what? I judged him, yes you are reading right.

I consider myself someone who does not easily judge, but I felt in my own trap. When someone do not agree with me or they can not see things the way I see it, I pushed them away. I prefer an easy life instead of a confrontational one. I started thinking what happened with our friendship or even to wonder if we ever had a friendship at all. I pushed them away because I do not want them to hurt me by their opposition or disagreement. I pushed them away because they are a threat to my security and self-esteem; because honestly I do not like when I am not liked. So it is easier to judge others and label them, than to talk about it and cherish our differences.

Who could ever imagine than a simple request to befriend in Facebook will teach me about my own insecurities, and the realization that even so close to be 40 years old, I still have so many things to learn about myself and others. Yesterday a good friend talked at Connection and he compared our lives as a T.V. Stage. He said that there are always a floor manager directing everything and in one moment the doors of the stage are closed and a red and illuminated sign appears saying: Work in Progress. That is exactly what my life is all about, a work in progress. A continue realization of the things I need to keep working on my understanding of myself as a human being, and how much do I need to give up on the destructive concept of judging others just because they are different than me, If at the end of my life I am able to be free of judging others, so I could be free to give out mercy and grace, I would have fulfill my purpose in this earth.

So, I accepted the friend request, but this time with a humble heart and beaten ego, wondering what is what I can offer to others than I can not see myself? How come a person I thought I was dislike by him can teach me with his actions the contrary? How easily I am prone to judge!! It is amazing!!
Nouwen continues saying, “The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy. Let’s remember my Rabbi’s words: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged”.


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