Saturday, July 21, 2012

Think the best (by not being judgmental)...

Think the best (by not being judgmental)... Three articles today with this main topic:

  1. From the Pulpit on Saturday, July 21, 2012: Rabbi Mordechai Levin. Quotations: "Sometimes we misjudge others by reaching hasty conclusions based on stereotypes and appearances.We fail to consider new facts and changed circumstances, and instead hold onto faulty perspectives restricted by our past opinions... We are critical of those who have different points of view or because they do not live up to our preconceived notions. We misjudge people based on our very limited knowledge of them and their circumstances.... What needless pain we cause to others - and loss to ourselves -- by casting judgment based on our own prejudices, limited knowledge or preferences...To be able to sincerely judge people righteously requires a  basic appreciation of others. Those who we like we tend to judge positively. Those whom we dislike we tend to judge less kindly. Their actions may be the same, but our attitude toward a particular person is what makes the difference... If another's actions can be interpreted in both a positive and negative way, it is righteous to evaluate those actions in the positive way. We should avoid making unwarranted judgments and instead think the best of others.
  2. From the Pulpit on Saturday, July 21, 2012: Rev. Nonin Chowaney. Quotations: "Wisdom is seeing - -not with the eyes but with our whole being - things as they are. That means seeing who we are what our relationship is to the rest of the universe... We also see that all things are interdependent and only exist in relationship with other things. Nothing stands alone... Compassion literally means to "feel with", and this means to feel or experience the suffering of another being. Of course, feeling is only half... The other half is wanting to do something about it.... Compassion means ultimately means to forget yourself, and just be there. If it's someone suffering deeply, just listen. Hear what the person is saying; honor what he or she is feeling; tell them that you're sorry they're feeling so bad, but mean it... Try to be a calm, soothing presence, but most important, just be there -- fully.
  3. Judgments, Trees and Old Houses   Quotations:    One such lesson is regarding making judgments about people. I have learned that is is not my place to judge others... (My Summary in the midst: Some people opt not to have trees and old houses... Do you not know what you are missing?...) Old houses have character and they have lifetimes of stories within their walls. Yes they are quirky and require maintenance but the same can be said about Benson (located within Omaha). We can be a quirky bunch here and we will always require more maintenance, but living in Benson is like swinging on your porch swing shaded by the big beautiful trees and knowing this really is the good life.
So for today, I will go back to some basics that I learned a long time ago, but have forgotten to practice. 
  • "If you can't say something nice, say nothing." 
  • "Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise." (Phil. 4:8)
  • "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." (Sir William Jones)
  • Prayer by Kate B. Wilkinson: "May the mind of Christ my Savior / Live in me from day to day, / By His love and power controlling / All I do and say.