Every single day we pass judgments on other people. Every human being does it and we aren’t really able to control these thoughts when they come into our head. Competition is human nature, we all understand this fact. Competition can be healthy and motivating, but competition can also pull you down and crush you under it’s weight.

We judge because we are competitive, and we judge because we have an innate need to feel that what we think and know is right. How much does any one of us truly know? We all live completely separate lives with separate paths and obstacles. I can’t know how one person lives from one day to the next; I can see and listen but I will never actually know what someone is thinking or feeling. Who am I to say that their behavior is right or wrong? 

Yes, we have codes of behavior that we as a society have deemed “acceptable” and “unacceptable”. These codes of behavior are important and there is an unspoken understanding and usual compliance. We can say that someone “should” be doing things differently, and since we would like to think in the person’s best interest, we get upset or bothered by their behavior (usually because we care). There are very few people in this world, and it is a learned skill that needs to be practiced and maintained, who are able to truly put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Whether or not you agree with a person’s behavior doesn’t make them a bad person. We need to understand we all have challenges that we face daily.

I hope that we can come to understand that compassion and empathy are important traits that contribute to one’s happiness and overall sense of purpose. Supporting someone when they are having a difficult time is definitely stressful, but that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it. Instead we should feel important because a person has taken their pain and emotion and trusted us enough to reach out and open up. Friendship is essential in this life.