Counselor's Corner: The misery of condemning and judging others

 Fred Cavaiani

When we use psychological and spiritual resources to condemn other people, we create a misery within ourselves. This is an age of intense condemnations and judgments of political leaders. It is also an age of severe condemnations of those who do not share the same religious faith. People kill in the name of God and in the name of Allah. Citizens portray the president as a devil incarnate. The evils of the world are easily blamed on a president or on an overzealous religion. People who are poor and without work are thought to be lazy and taking advantage of our tax money. Undocumented children, women and men who dangerously travel to this country to seek a life with some hope are seen as threats to our way of life in these United States. 

When we condemn leaders instead of searching for solutions we create a war within our own personal selves. When we are at a psychic and spiritual war within our own personalities it becomes easy to project our personal hatreds and fears about ourselves onto other people and institutions. The more intensely we do this the more miserable we become with other people and with ourself.

Angry and critical people become frightened of silence. In silence we are challenged to face our own personal demons. In silence we acquire the realization that the world is not changed for the better by anger and projections of our own insecurity upon political and religious leaders. The world is changed by the concrete actions of compassion and concern we show toward those people we meet and experience in our daily lives. 

Whenever I choose compassion over anger and kindness over condemnation I am propelled to look deeper within myself and my own personal values about life. Whenever I choose to become angry, critical and condemning toward political and religious leaders, systems and other peoples’ fanaticism I walk in the opposite direction of the solution. 

Judgments of others bring judgments about myself. Condemnations of others bring condemnations back toward myself. Misery and evil thrive in a milieu of anger and absolute judgments of others. When I am condemning you I will never understand you. When I am judging and criticizing those who see things differently than me I will never understand or connect with those people. 

Compassion disarms. Careful and consistent caring toward others is the greatest “weapon” toward peace and reconciliation in a world which seems to run away from listening to others. 

When I am fearful it is much easier to avoid facing my fear by staying angry and condemning. My anger paralyzes my fear and blocks my own personal awareness of myself. My anger stirs up the unaware and unconscious fear of others. Then we all join forces in anger and create a world of tension, fear and rage.

Countries and societies which run from silence might say a lot of prayers and speak many words. But there is not personal awareness of what is really going on inside of the individuals in that society. Fear dominates. When fear dominates, anger and hatred controls the person and the society, be it political or religious. In the name of a country, a God, or a belief a justification is made to kill one another or imprison one another with my condemning and judgmental viewpoints. 

Every person in every society in this world, hungers to be loved. Yet everyone has emotional wounds and at times has been given false ideas about love. These false ideas have been experienced through faulty messages consisting of fear and seeing others as bad and evil. The more love I experience, the more love I will see around me. The more trust I experience, the more I will trust others. The more repressed my feelings are about love, trust, sex, joy, and compassion, the angrier I will become and the more fearful I will become. But no one has had the perfect parents, the perfect government or perfect religion. We have all suffered. Yet in consistent reflective silence we will discover our own wounds and embrace them so that we can again realize that love is present throughout the world and in every person. Love begets love. Compassion brings out compassion in others. Kindness brings kindness. I may suffer from the anger and condemnations of others. But when I continue on my journey of care and compassion and kindness, I will challenge any enemy to look deeper within their own personal selves. Angry people need angry people to avoid living fully. Caring and compassionate people, religions and nations have the ability to disarm the physical and emotional attacks of others so that connections can be made and harmony can remain. 

Be more reflectively silent and more caring compassionate in your own personal life and see what happens.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage and family therapist and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com.

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