The Importance Of Perspective Before You Judge Someone Else


“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” — Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

You never know someone until you walk in their skin, and relive their memories and experiences that shape them. Who are you to say that the girl dressed skimpily is a slut? Or the guy who sleeps around is a douche? Perhaps they are just broken souls trying to find love. We are all broken somewhat and fumbling our way in the dark for love and comfort. Some of us find it in sex, some in food, some in friends and others in fitness. But who are we to determine which is the right way for others? Life shapes people and their perspectives, and you might think that what they are doing is wrong. However, it does not necessarily mean that your perspective is right.

You might argue that there is universal morality that everyone would agree upon, such as murder. If you think about it, it is a result of social structure and symbolic interactionism. Even universal morality is not absolute as it changes with context. Say for example, in a war, where soldiers are faced in a situation of either killing or surviving, would the former then be justified? Paralleling this to everyday life, who are you to say that what the person is doing is immoral, when you neither know the context nor reason. Even if you know the person well, your experiences are different from theirs, and hence your world view would differ as well. For example, you cannot say that the person is selfish and over-competitive when all his life, he had to work hard for what he wants. Neither can you say that the person is a cheater when he cannot help falling in love with someone else. Things are not necessarily in black and white, or even grey. They are what they are based on our own personal values and perspectives. What is viewed as right for someone can be seen as wrong for another.

I think the world would be a better place to live in if we could remove our prejudices and values, and try to view things from other’s perspectives. When your friends or loved ones confide in you, listen and do not tell them what is right or wrong. It is alright to tell them what you think, but it is not okay to impose your viewpoint on them. You cannot insist that what they are doing is wrong when you have not walked in their shoes. Neither could you judge them for their decisions as it is theirs to make, and the consequences for them to live with. Who are you to think that you are better than a murderer, thief, drug addict, or prostitute? All of us carry our own sins in different forms, and not one sin is greater than the other.

We get angry at others only because we impose our own values on them. But don’t you realize that anger is futile because we each uphold different values? Remove your tainted glasses and try to understand where others are coming from. Then, you would realize that people ain’t that bad after all.

featured image – Lotus Carroll