In my article, 11 Spiritual Truths You May Want to Remember, I listed 11 short spiritual truths. It received a very positive reaction, but some people wanted a little more information about what I meant. So I’m going to take each spiritual truth I listed and expand on it, each in its own article over the next 11 weeks.
Spiritual Truth #10: Don’t judge others. You don’t know what kind of life they’ve had, and you don’t know what lessons they’ve learned. Everyone is entitled to think the way they want to think. Even if it’s not the way YOU think.
We all arrive here on planet Earth in relatively the same condition – a blank slate. As time goes by, we have experiences, and these experiences shape us. They shape our beliefs, our values, our decisions, our paths.
We adopt beliefs. We adopt ways of doing things. We develop opinions based on our beliefs and experiences. And we take actions aligned with who we are and who we want to become.
By the time we’re adults, we’re all different. We’ve all walked a different path. We’ve had different experiences and we’ve adopted different beliefs. And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Imagine a sea of people all standing at the bottom of a tall mountain. A starter gun goes off and everyone begins climbing. We’re all climbing the same mountain, but we’re all taking a slightly different path, because there is no way we can all walk exactly the same path up this mountain. We’re all starting from a slightly different spot and we all encounter different obstacles and terrain.
Imagine while you’re walking up the mountain someone to your right yells out, “Hey you, you’re not climbing right. You’re going to run yourself into trouble. Why don’t you climb up the same path I’m walking? I’ll guide you.”
Or someone to your left saying, “Why are you walking on those rocks? If you walk on the dirt the climb will be much easier.” Maybe you like rocks though.
How do you know what path someone should walk? How do you know what experience they want to have? How do you know that what seems treacherous to you isn’t really fun for them?
Leave people alone to walk their paths the way they want to walk them. You are not in charge of their climb.
Sometimes people struggle with their climb, and they ask for assistance. There’s nothing wrong with helping someone who asks.
But don’t judge how people walk their path. You don’t know what experiences they’ve had. You don’t know what kind of climb they desire. You don’t know what kind of beliefs they are carrying.
There is no wrong way up the mountain, just as there is no right way. Just because someone isn’t climbing the way you’re climbing doesn’t mean they’re climbing wrong.
Focus on your own path, your own beliefs, and your own experiences. Improve your own experience and work on enjoying the climb. Not everyone wants to go where you’re going or get to where you’ve gotten.
Respect people’s right to live as they desire. As long as they aren’t trying to throw you off the mountain, their path is none of your business.