Posts Tagged ‘judgement’

Venus..a new look

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

This picture of Venus was created by NASA using radar data.  I find it an amazing new look at our closest neighbour, albeit 70 million miles distant.  Seeing something old in a new light is one path to understanding.  I often consider this ‘new light’ to be the Mother of Change.  We all see our world, our business and our neighbours through a series of filters such as our past experience, our old judgements and our beliefs but all these cloud the truth just as Venus’ atmosphere clouds from our view.  Dispel these clouds and it is surprizing what shines out…

At the beginning of  this new year, maybe it is time to see something close to you in a new light?  I’d love to hear from you of any relevant thoughts or actions…

“History is malleable. A new cache of diaries can shed new light, and archaeological evidence can challenge our popular assumptions.”  Ken Burns  

Resources:  Reality Model

Pond Life?

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

I don’t know if you have heard the expression ‘Pond Life’; it means “A worthless or contemptible person or group.”  So as regular readers will have noted that following the renovation of Cooke Towers (not on the constituency expenses!), we have now moved onto the next phase of upgrading Munstead Waters.  This has meant that I have been spending many a happy hour digging pits for filters and trenches for electricity supplies, not to mention being up to my elbows in silty, brown goo that we have been filtering out of the water!

However, and this is the point of my tale, I find that I am totally engrossed by every pond skimmer, dragonfly larvae, tadpole, snail and fish!  They all have their place in the bio-system of the pond.  If I don’t get the environment right for the bacteria that breakdown the fish pooh into plant food, the water starts to poison the fish.

The thing is, that in every group, business or family it takes all sorts to make the system work, and yet we judge others because they don’t behave as do.  In the pond, this spells death…. is it much better in a family or business?  Allowing others to be who they are, do what they do and getting on with doing ‘our thing’ isn’t a bad recipe for a good life.  I am rather of the opinion that Pond Life should be a complimentary term rather than an insult, what do you think?

“The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives.”

Who is the Real You?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

I was listening to Whoopi Goldberg talk this morning, I only caught snippets but found her every bit as interesting as I might have expected. It turns out that she is a dyslexic, who hated school, and didn’t bother going once she was 13; she is however very bright.  The interesting thing that caught my attention was when she described herself as “Shy.”  On one hand, in her public persona, she is ballsy and ‘out there’; however, put her in a party or group situation and apparently she feels she has little to say and tends to go quiet.  I could relate to a lot of what she said, and despite being something of an extrovert, there is a shy me too.

In fact, I have come to believe that most of us have an inner version of us who is almost the very opposite of the face we show the world.  Now I think it is more complex than just saying we are the opposite of the person we appear to be; it is more a case of saying that we can be out-going AND shy, confident AND nervous.  If we treat others as they appear on the surface we are almost certainly missing something key to who they are. 

What is your experience and have you found a good way of dealing with this? 

“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”   Oscar Wilde

 I dislike this quote“Judgements prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.”  Wayne Dyer


The Eye of God

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I came across this picture of the Helix nebula, which the Hubble telescope took.  It just makes me feel that God is watching us through this of a dying star. 

We are all watched and judged by those around us; our colleagues, our customers, our staff and our bosses.  Each of them sees only part of what and who we are,  and like the astronomers, they draw inferences and conclusions.  Unlike the scientists, they don’t test these hypotheses, they (usually) just say this is what I observed, so that must be the case…

There is so much scope for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.  Today an on-line friend was apparently a victim of this, but it happens to us all.  We need to constantly be aware of what we are sending out, and what we pick-up from others reactions and ensuring that where possible, we clarify and question, to offer and ask for feedback.


“All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, all observation is also invention.”  Rudolf Arnheim

“They who are in the highest places, and have the most power, have the least liberty, because they are the most observed”  John Tillotson


Gangs & Governments

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I was listening to an interesting radio programme (Gangs, Guns & Families) which gave a fascinating insight into this area, as Suzella Palmer & her son talked about the realities of this from their dual perspectives as academic and gang member.

Something that got me wondering was when the son, Zane, was talking about the role of the gang in looking after its people and the need to stay on top that lead to an ‘arms race’ from fists to knives to guns.  It struck me that this is same language and strategy as governments employ.  The odd thing is that whilst we consider one completely legitimate the other is condemned by society.  Another programme was observing the parallels between both extremist Christians and Muslims, both of whom were quite happy to kill others to save their souls!

The thing is that when we judge people, and label them as  something of lesser value, then we make it impossible to communicate with them.  No one wants to be judged and we all fight back against that.  We aren’t all either in governments or in gangs but we all fall into this trap.  If you want to communicate, then you have to set aside judgements and respond to what you experience….


“The major block to compassion is the judgment in our minds. Judgment is the mind’s primary tool of separation.“  Diane Berke

“To sit in judgment of those things which you perceive to be wrong or imperfect is to be one more person who is part of judgment, evil or imperfection.”   Wayne Dyer


Life is like a game of Bowls?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

I was having a conversation with my wife this morning that got me thinking about Lawn Bowls, an old and rather civilised English game that can trace its history by to the 12th century, and craved into English history when Francis Drake claimed he had time to finish his game of bowls and then defeat the Spanish Armada. For those who have never played, you roll a very heavy ball down a very smooth lawn to try and hit another smaller ball called the jack. The art of the game is compensating for the fact that the balls have a small off-centre weight inside them called a bias, which makes it impossible to roll them in a straight line. If you watch this game played by skilled practitioners, you will be amazed by their skill in using this bias.

That got me thinking about our own biases, which of course we all have. The lawn bowlers, are very familiar with the bias of their bowls, but we often keep ours hidden from everyone including ourselves. We are always fair and objective aren’t we? The things is you can’t start winning at bowls till you familiarise yourself with and compensate for your own bias. I wonder if Life isn’t a bit like that too. Until we understand where our biases are, and accept that we need to ‘bowl’ a curved line to compensate for them we keep landing wide of our mark.

There are people we don’t like, places we don’t feel safe, activities we find challenging and all of this may well be based on sound reasons, but those same judgements and stories divert the path of our thinking just as surely as the little weight in the bowl. Be honest with yourself about these things, own them and share them and you maybe surprised just how directly you get where you want to go…. Good luck!

“To know the true reality of yourself, you must be aware not only of your conscious thoughts, but also of your unconscious prejudices, bias and habits.”

“He flattered himself on being a man without any prejudices; and this pretension itself is a very great prejudice” Anatole France



Is that little voice prejudice or intuition?

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

This morning I was online in a group that I belong to and came across the name / profile of someone I had once met.  I followed a couple of links and found out they were involved in some areas I had been unaware of.  Now these are areas that interest me and my normal reaction would have been positive, and made me more warmly disposed toward this person.  I was aware though, that in this case, it just made me feel uncomfortable.

I found myself wondering if this was the voice of intuition, warning me off, or just prejudice getting in the way of me offering them a second chance.  After all, none of us always makes a good first impression;  shy people can come over as brash if they over-compensate, apparently self-centred people can have hearts of gold. 

I believe both in intuition and its power to help and guide, and also in the value of an open mind and heart.  How do you know which voice is speaking to you?

“The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice”    Mark Twain

“Everyone is a prisoner of his own experience. No one can eliminate prejudices–just recognize them.”  Edward R Murrow

“Intuition isn’t the enemy, but the ally, of reason.”  John Kord Lagemann

Silence is (sometimes) Golden

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Isn’t it fascinating how the same stimulus can cause totally different, polarised experiences? Since we had children one of the things that I love is driving with my wife, and after a while, we lapse into a companionable silence. There is absolutely no need to fill it and we both just sink into it like a warm bath.

Yesterday, we went out for a meal and whilst we had a nice time, I noticed that I was rather quiet, and absorbed in doing useful little jobs, happy to let the others ‘carry’ the conversation. However, had they not been there then I know there would have been a lot of rather uncomfortable silences. So what makes the one experience so positive and the other rather awkward?

I suspect it is something to do with:-

  1. The level of unconditional acceptance there is in the relationship, and
  2. The ability to say whatever you wish, should you choose to do so

If you are constantly trying to editorialise to find safe, acceptable things to talk about then that prevents the flow.

Acceptance is just about the greatest gift we can offer each other. To say, in effect, I see you, flaws and all, and accept you is hugely liberating and affirmative. The more spiritually elevated of us are able to do this for more of the people we encounter.

Whether it is in your home, or your family, at work, or just out and about, see if you can be a little more accepting and spread a little ‘gold’ around…

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Mother Teresa

Perception or Reality?

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

I wonder how many corporate hearts have flown into corporate mouths on hearing the phrase “Let me give you some feedback“? Now don’t get me wrong, as an advocate of Change I am a big fan of feedback. I believe it is not only valuable but essential. The Universe is giving it to us all the time, but sometimes we can speed-up our learning process with some well focused, clearly expressed, positively intentioned feedback.

Feedback comes in two flavours, both positive and negative. I don’t recollect ever hearing the above phrase mentioned in the context of positive feedback. I don’t know why, no one seems to be busting a gut to tell you all the wonderful things you have done. So that phrase, inevitably seems to mean trouble.

Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong with one person telling another why they have a problem with something you have said or done. The trouble comes from them assuming that because they are not you, they are somehow independent, unbiased, and also perfectly informed! Clearly this is not the case. However, it is still possible to gain some useful information if the ‘feedback’ is delivered as just that, information. However, once again, it is usually handed out as a judgement; and a judgement from ‘on high’ as well!

Let’s take a look at two scenarios:-

Scenario 1: A & B both go the cinema, and it turns out that they saw the same film. They are sitting in different parts of the cinema, and therefore see and hear the performance slightly differently. They compare notes afterwards and discover they have seen different things, read in different messages and now have different feelings about the film. These are in part due to the slightly different perceptions and partly to their differing tastes, upbringings, educations and natures. They discuss it and now both have an enhanced view of what the film was about.

Scenario 2: A calls B into their office and says “Let me give you some feedback…” and proceeds to tell B why they have failed to complete an assignment ‘properly’. Clearly all the differences in scenario 1 still pertain, but now B assumes the Godlike right to hand out judgements. If B does anything other than say “Thank you” they are now labelled as resistant to change. At Best B has their own feelings and some different perceptions, and perhaps some more data.

If in Scenario 2 they communicated in the same spirit as Scenario 1 there would be only winners, as it is the winner and loser are decided by their positional power.

So if today finds you either in A or B’s position, please remember that if you just share information and feelings, then you both win; if you hand out judgements then you are a schmuck!

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” William Shakespeare, Hamlet