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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Judging & Love

 
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
Mother Teresa


This wonderful quote by Mother Teresa came across my desk today and made me pause to think. She is so right, she was so filled with love (who but someone filled with love could have done what she did?), and so was able to see - perhaps more clearly than most - what we so often are obfuscated about. When we judge we don't have time to love. And how often do we choose to judge rather than love?

It's logical, we say. How can we not judge if people do or say this or that? Don't we judge celebrities? Lindsay Lohan for not controlling her drinking? My friend who does the same? Or consider how many of us judged Angelina Jolie while she was out there filling vials with Billy Bob's blood, and then of course, we changed our minds when we saw all the wonderful work she does for humanitarian causes. Need I mention Tiger Woods and how we judged that? How about Bernie Madoff ... now there was one we couldwe could indignantly and self-righteously judge ... and how many of us think of Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe without immediately judging their suicides - in some fashion? Sarkozy for strutting off with Carla Bruni, and Clinton for Monica. It's endless, and I chose these well-known figures so we could more easily relate, but we both know - you and I both know - that we do this on a daily basis with our nearest and dearest, even if it's for much smaller acts.

And when we do it, there is no room for love.

Here's the thing: we can choose. Before we fall into judgement, we can choose not to judge. We will need to make a conscious habit of it, because it's not going to come naturally. We've spent too much time doing the other thing.

And one final point: since we're already taking advice from Mother Teresa for this, let's also - in order to help us in this process of choosing love - remember one other element of her work: we are all one. Not one of us is more or less.

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Photo Credit: Arvind Balaraman

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