Things often times are neither good nor bad. It's our intentions exercised or acted upon that makes the difference. Like money, judgment ain't inherently bad. The Webster dictionary’s definition for judging: to form an opinion through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises. Careful thought, deliberation and weighing has been put through in the formation of one’s opinion.

On the other hand, being judgmental is defined as, expressing unfavorable judgments or criticisms about things or people.

There is a fine line with similar root words, literary shows us the fine line of the times when we judge as well as become harsh in our criticisms of others, leading to negative seeds being planted.

I do recall this one incident some many moons ago. I recall sitting for my O level oral exams and we had to leave all our belongings outside the exam hall. I had my cell phone tucked away in one pocket, waiting for me to return to it. Discretion would have said to me, keep it in some place safer; consider not bringing it at all.

To the dismay of my heart, it went missing as soon as the oral exams were over. My cell phone had been stolen. I thought nothing major of it at that time, as I was about to change to a newer phone model, all it meant was just a dollar or two less from the next trade-in. I had soon found myself acquiring a newer model from my Father. It was a time of carelessness for me, before I knew it; I had left both my wallet and brand new phone on the bus on my ride home. Imagine the horror of relaying the news to my mother. 2 phones and my wallet lost within a month.

Being angry at the thief’s dishonesty for not returning me the phone, I explained my unfortunate plight to my mother, as I acknowledged my carelessness. All she said in response, “Perhaps the person needs it more than you do.”

On hindsight, as I sit in reminiscing the times, it brings to mind a feeling of unsettled closure, maybe I’ll never know who did it, maybe I did know who the culprit was. Nonetheless, we each have our own inadequacies, and before we critique the thief who had done injustice to us, we could perhaps empathize with the human person in his extreme attempt for survival or perhaps a silent lack of that he or she may have been deprived.

I know each person has a story, one untold, one unseen. Suspending our criticisms may allow us to finally understand the truth of what goes beneath the surface.

What’s the story behind your most recent criticism?

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