How Judgments Affect Others

Bodhinatha responds to an e-mail from Sheela Venkatakrishnan, the transcriber of his talks for the website, regarding how to look at assessments, evaluations and judgments. Bodhinatha says they're all the same and elaborates on some of the different types of judgments we can make and how they affect others.

Unedited Transcript:

We got an interesting question. Again this is a response to the Editorial, from Sheela Venkatakrishnan. She is our transcriber, transcribes all the talks from Chennai now, that go on to TAKA. The written versions go on the TAKA page. She is the transcriber.

"I was transcribing your talks on 'Good people, Evil people' and was reminded of something I read recently in a book called 'Soul Food'. May I share that with you?

"If we set aside the superficiality of so many of our judgments, would we not see with great depth and understanding? It is also true that in this depth and understanding we would discover new dimensions of humility, forgiveness and tolerance. The energy employed in the judging mind is sufficient to transform the world. It is an energy we need to re channel."

Then Sheela asks a question. "This seems to tie in with what you are saying. I am wondering why do we judge people? How does an assessment differ from an evaluation and from a judgment?"

Anybody know? Assessment, evaluation and judgment.

"Is labeling at one extreme end of assessing? What is then, the other extreme? It appears to me that this concept-misconcept is at the root of many problems, big and small in personal, public and national relationships. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for addressing this issue and I hope it grows beyond 'Publisher's Desk'. I am grateful to George Bush for his contributions toward making you talk on this subject."

Axis of evil. Evil, evil!

Well, that is an interesting question. I have not answered her yet but I thought about it this morning.

In terms of the differences between assessment, evaluation and judgment, there really are not any. It is just different words for the same thing. It is more the type of judgment that differs.

What the author was referring to was superficial judgments, where we don't look deeply into someone. We are just looking at the surface, looking at something very external about the person and making a judgment.

Therefore, when we try to find the extremes, superficial judgment is one extreme and in-depth judgment or really looking into someone's nature deeply is the other end of that.

Or said another way, we can assess someone looking for their faults, trying to find everything that is wrong with them so we can criticize them. That happens. Or are we looking at them to find their goodness so we can talk about that?

Lots of people for some reason like to look at people and find their faults rather than their goodness. I guess it makes better gossip. You cannot really gossip about someone's goodness as well as their faults.