Read a blog entry of a friend over the weekend which posed the question whether we judge others, in particular by the books they read, or at least display on their book shelves? Having prepared a talk on the subject of judging recently, that gave me impetus to provide an answer. Well, I type the word “answer” but isn’t my providing an answer judgemental in itself? If I provide an answer to a problem you have, is that not in some way judging you, that you are unable to resolve an issue yourself? Of course, there are many times when we ask another for advise or help. That I think is the difference. If i just look at you and seeing something I disagree with, then say to you: “you should stop doing that… or start doing this…” that is not really being very helpful. The best and most helpful answers or solutions usually come from within us. Such answers though do come at a price – of struggle and discomfort and pain – while we wrestle with the problems or challenges we face. You can ask me for a solution and I could give you one, but it would be my solution for the way I see the situation. So the answer would really only be of value to myself. I need rather to offer you support and perhaps minimal direction to assist you in finding the solution from within yourself. It is then your solution for yourself. The end, at the end, sometimes only at the end, is worth the price. Along the way it may not seem worth it. This relates more to one on one relationship.
What though of the one to many? I think of this in relation to my earlier political leanings. I am now more central in my views. At times though I do not like to be pigeon holed as left-wing, right-wing, or centrist. I hold or have formulated views over a period of time. They are where I am now, borne of my experiences – not where you might be thinking I am. The problem with defining political views is that one view tends to hold differing views as anathema. When a lot younger I was quite right-wing in my opinions, viewing all left-wing causes as extreme stupidity. Now I have much more, what some would view, left-wing thoughts. The problem with holding such views, though, is that the extremes are not just views about a subject but they also have an effect on the way you may end up treating and being with others.
As an example – thee are certain amoung the more wealthy, who tend to say the following:
“The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will not give him of my food, nor give him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just – “
should they not rather:
“… help those that stand in need of their help; administer of their substance to him that stands in
need; and not suffer that the beggar puts up his petition in vain, and turn him out to perish.“
Then there are the poor, who have not and yet have sufficient, that manage to survive daily; all those who deny the beggar, because they have not:
“should they not say in their hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.“
I kind of have thought of the above for many, many years. Yet, it is only recently being involved in counselling through a youth charity that those thoughts have become more meaningful and impeded within me. I can now see somewhat of the consequence of both opposing views. We all suffer if we seek only to help ourselves and do not seek to help others, whatever our circumstances might be.
In the end, there is no one to many, all relationships eventually come down to being one to one. We judge each other that way or we help and support each other that way. There is no real middle ground here.