Tonight I was watching an independent movie made by a friend of mine who is a film director.

I think it’s a great movie, and although I’m not at liberty to promote it yet, I wanted to share something the lead character said that made my mind turn.

“We can’t judge somebody in their worst moment because everyone has the capacity for change, and anyone can change.”

I don’t know if it was the way the actor said it or the statement itself, but it got me thinking.

I initially found myself judging people who judge others. Then I realized I'm judging others for judging others, which led me to think about how judgemental I've been in my life.

I've been guilty of judging public figures, strangers, co-workers, friends, and family,

practically everyone, especially when I've witnessed one of their worst moments. I’ve written people off who probably didn’t deserve it.

After a few minutes of beating myself up and feeling guilty, I realized I was judging myself.

Does it ever end?

I suppose we all judge people. It’s only natural. We judge people the moment we meet them. The moment somebody walks through the door, we instantly make judgments about their appearance, their demeanor, the way they talk, the way they walk, the rumors we heard about them, and much more. How could we not?

Is all judgment bad? If we don’t judge a person's character the right way, sometimes it could lead to disastrous consequences. That’s not the type of judgment I’m attempting to write about.

What is judgment? Is it just an opinion based on the present moment, or is it a conclusion about someone that causes us to think about them or mistreat them?

How often does our judgment allow us to give someone a second chance? How often do we judge people in a way that causes us to write them off?

When I judge someone based on a rumor I heard, their physical appearance, the way they talk, or even something I know they did when they were younger, is that fair?

What happens when we witness someone's worst moment? Is that their true character shining through, or are they just having a bad day?

People act the way they do because of a combination of factors, and we don't know what they go through that leads them to behave the way they do. We usually aren't seeing the complete picture. People are more complex than that.

I don’t think it’s possible to live a life where I never judge anyone, but how often have I judged someone to find out later I was wrong?

How often have those judgments led me to a negative mindset where I'm holding a grudge against a person and thinking negative thoughts about them? Is it healthy for me to be carrying around negative opinions about people?

I think the evidence is clear that harboring negative thought patterns about others harms us in various ways and is often unfair to the person we are judging.

Although real change sometimes takes years, we all are capable of change. I would hate to be judged because of something I did or said ten or twenty years ago; although I'm the same person, I am pretty different now. I have different opinions, different behaviors, different thought patterns. I’ve changed quite a bit. I'm sure you have too.

Maybe when we’re reflective about our own lives, and we think about our own worst moments, it might allow us to give someone a second chance who maybe deserves one.

It’s been said our judgments about another person probably say more about our character than the character of the person we are judging. Is that true? I’ll leave it for you to decide.

Toby Moore is a columnist, the star of Emmy - Nominated A Separate Peace, and the CEO of Cubestream Inc.

Trending Video

Recommended for you