Believe it or not, there is a time and a place for people to pass judgment – such as when personal safety is involved.
We have to make a mental judgment whether it’s safe to walk down that alley to take a shortcut, or whether we feel safe riding in an elevator with someone. Or simply what’s not right for you and your child.
And dating! Listen, you have a right to consensually date someone as long as you don’t violate any laws. You don’t have to date someone to whom you’re are not attracted or don’t like.
We make maybe a thousand or so of those judgments daily. Those judgments are necessary, and don’t necessarily have to be shared.
But making unnecessary judgments – and sharing them for no good reason at all – can be harmful to all involved. It can even be hurtful.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a judgment-free zone, just for a little while? I mean a place for all of the unnecessary judgment that leads to all sorts of biases, inequalities, and feelings that a person can’t be himself or herself while living in the confines of the law.
Well guess what? I’ve found a few places like that in my lifetime – albeit my travels have pretty much been limited to the continental United States and small parts of Canada and Mexico.
On vacation in Las Vegas, NV this spring, I realized I was in one of the closest things I have found to be a no-judgment zone. I had the epiphany while walking down the Vegas strip and casually glancing to my left. I spied, with my little eye, a man with a large, live snake around his neck! Yikes!
Now, I’m terrified of snakes! But I found myself not judging. Not asking “What type of a person would walk down a crowded street with a large, live snake resting around his neck?!?” Not making snap judgments about the man or his slithery friend. No. The only judgment I made was to get the you-know-what out of there – without running – but as fast as I could!
I hastened my step, took a deep breath and glanced to the right of me. What did I see? A woman with a large squirrel laying on her head. It was clear, by the woman’s smile and the sequin-studded leash around the squirrel’s neck, that the woman was not being attacked. She fed her bushy-tailed buddy a piece of pretzel and both were in bliss. Like best friends hanging out for the day.
And yet, the only judgment I found myself making was “Gee, I’d sure like a pretzel.”
Now, by no means am I urging anyone to go to Las Vegas. In fact, I’m sure the chamber of commerce would ban me from the Sin City if they knew I was writing this. But then again, that would be a judgment on me, now wouldn’t it?
New York City and Los Angeles, CA are other popular areas that have high levels of judgment-free zones. Let’s just say the phrase, “Don’t ask. Don’t tell. Don’t pursue” probably originated in one of those three American cities.
But, if you can’t get to one of these three seemingly judgment-free zones, you can create one right where you are. It’s simple. Just don’t judge people, places, or things unless it is a matter of your safety and survival (or your minor child’s safety and survival).
Think of all the money you’ll save on airfare. And don’t get me started on all of the unnecessary judgment that goes on in airports and aboard airplanes! But then again, who am I to judge those who are judging?