Listening to a talk the other day by Ram Dass on judgement, and how as human beings, we seem to have this need to be in constant judgement of each other. He gave an interesting analogy.
He described the experience of going into the forest and appreciating the trees. Despite the fact that there are big ones, and small ones, and straight ones, and crooked ones. Some are thick with leaves, some more sparse. Some look mighty and strong, and some look like they are barely holding onto life. There are fat ones and skinny ones. Some have different coloured leaves or bark. But what we see is a beautiful forest. We see only trees. And if by chance a tree does stand as for a being a little different than the others, usually we see that as interesting, something else to appreciate.
Why then when it comes to people, do we instantly jump to judgement?
Why do we feel such a need to condemn all that is different from us?
Does it validate our own inadequacies? Does it make us feel superior?
Or are we so incredibly insecure that we view all that is different to us, as a threat. A threat that must be vanquished.
Much has been written on judgement in spiritual books and texts over the millennia. And yet it seems that we are no closer to living a life free of judgement. I know that I am more judgemental than I wish to be, and yet, it seems so difficult to stop. It’s as if it is hard-wired into our DNA. It’s addictive. It’s cumulative. And yet, it’s a habit that I know I must break.
We don’t judge a tree as right or wrong, good or bad. It’s just a tree. The same as all the others, or with it’s own unique beauty. We see it for what it IS… not what we deem it “should” be.
If we are ever to evolve as a species, or to move along a truly spiritual path, then I think it’s time we started practising seeing People as Trees.