“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to the need to put people and things in their “right” place. To the degree that we embrace the truth that our identity is not rooted in our success, power, or popularity, but in God’s infinite love, to that degree can we let go of our need to judge.”
– Here and Now, Henri Nouwen
I am addicted to categorizing people and putting them in their place.
Let me count the ways.
If you don’t look where you’re walking in the mall, and you make me drastically alter my preferred path, you are a mindless, self-centered human being. If you disagree with me on a myriad of possible issues, I don’t consider the possibility that you could be right – I simply assume you don’t have the same information that I have, the crucial information, and are hopelessly wrong.
If you think the green and yellow Skittles are the best of the bunch, you might be going straight to hell.
But this says so much more about me than it does about you.
It probably says that I place a lot of importance in what I do, or what I have, or reveals my huge concern with what other people think of me. It shows how much stock I put in being right, or doing the “right” thing (darn that oldest-child syndrome).
From where do we get our identities? And is Henri Nouwen right in saying that the source of our identity often gives us a judgmental attitude towards others?
Could relinquishing this desire to judge be as simple as finding the right source of my identity?