Today's Daily Calm guided meditation on my iPhone app was called "Beautiful Imperfection." Below is a transcript I made of how it ended. I really liked the call for less judgement and more connection.
This is tough enough to do in real life. It's considerably more difficult on the Internet, where we form judgements about people without having even seen them, much less understood them.
That's why I thought what follows is a good reminder that while informed judgement often makes some sense, uninformed judgement should be engaged in cautiously, if at all.
It's so often that our mind falls into judgements, of ourselves and of others. And if we pay attention, we'll quickly notice this tendency.
We meet a new co-worker, or there's a new barista at our cafe. Or someone sits beside us on the subway. And instantly, subconsciously, the judging mind appears.
We take notice of a person's appearance, speech, and demeanor. And in a millisecond we draw conclusions about what type of person they must be. Some of these judgements might be sympathetic, some critical, based on a subconscious sliver of information.
How accurate can they be?
The truth is, we know next to nothing about the stranger passing through our day. Let's say we're sitting beside someone on a flight. And we overhear they have an addiction to reality television. They voraciously watch this show and that show, and can't go a week without their fix.
And with this flux of information, we start to form a picture of who they are. But for all we know that same person has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics, beautiful children, or a cancer diagnosis. Or all of those things.
Judgements separate us from other people. giving us a sense of division or of superiority. But on the flip side of judgement is an opportunity to feel connection. Because whatever it is we're judging, we probably suffer from some version of the same feature or flaw.
We all have our faults and guilty pleasures. That's a part of what makes each of us so compelling and interesting. Emilio Estevez put it, "We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That's what connects us, that we're all broken, all beautifully imperfect."
So call on the mindfulness skill of awareness. Try to pay closer attention to your judgements. And as you get to know these tendencies, challenge them, soften them. Instead of giving in to the judging mind, deepen your connection to the beautifully imperfect people around you.