The Power of Nonjudgement

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“The highest form of intelligence is to observe without evaluating.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

I quote that a lot, but the meaning of it keeps growing on me. I belong to a men’s group that meets too rarely, and at one meeting I shared Krishnamurti’s quote. We were sitting outside on a sunny weekend on the nearly-deserted San Francisco State campus during spring break. I was having a lovely time.

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10 Responses to The Power of Nonjudgement

  1. Roger Eaton says:

    I followed the link and found Fania Davis quoting Dr M.L. King about combining the militant and the moderate. This “restorative justice” movement seems really smart — the application of a relatively minor intervention just at the critical point to send things in a better direction.

  2. kris says:

    i love Krishnamurti’s quote. Thanks for sharing.

  3. If ever “restorative justice” or the concept thereof, was needed it is now in the horrific tit-for-tat killings of three Israeli youth and the revenge burning to death of an Arabic boy in the “Palestinian Territories” this last week. While not a religious person, I certainly feel I am a moral one, and generally reasonable enough. I know the saying,
    “Vengenance is mine sayeth The Lord, and I believe it to be a very reasonable and profound maxim. However, I don’t feel comforted, and I want to throw them to the mob, especially the ones who burned that very small 16-year-old boy! HELP!!!

  4. Angelee says:

    This dovetails so well with something a friend said to me earlier this week when I was stewing about some concern or another. She simply said, “What if it weren’t a problem?” I saw how I was making it a problem by viewing it as such, but that actually nothing terrible was happening. Thank you again David for your insights and beautiful written word.

  5. Will Fudeman says:

    Yes, many of us judge ourselves and others too harshly, causing unnecessary suffering. Still, if we choose to not use that form of judgment that is discernment– as in– can I really trust this person enough to let him/her move in to my home?– we might regret just allowing ourselves to watch what happens.

    The ideal balance is a sort of dance– being aware of our judgmental feelings as they arise– taking a look at where they are coming from– making choices that are informed by our feelings, even if we might sometimes be a bit ‘judgmental’.

    For most of us, it’s not easy to drop our judgments and just experience what is. Meditative practices are helpful. And, our minds have developed habits over the decades of our lives. Here we go again, making judgments. Most of us are not going to be able to be like Krishnamurti, unless we’ve been meditating for decades, and practicing non-attachment and non-judgment.

    • David Spero RN says:

      Will, I agree that it’s not possible to totally stop judgment in this world. But we can cut it down a lot, can’t we? I also note that positive judgments are as potentially damaging as negative ones. If you judge that some person is trustworthy enough to allow into your home, what are you basing that on? It might be better to suspend judgement and let them wait. That’s certainly what I found out with Pete.

      • Matu Feliciano says:

        Let them wait…..I did, they did more damage to themselves. I don’t have to say much at all. When a person is out of sync with reality and is harmful to others, get out of the way. It becomes flight or fight. As you said, let them wait.
        That way you are not compromised in any form.

  6. Tammy says:

    A great lesson for us all–for me anyway. I lost out on a promotion to a younger, less experiencer coworker–who my colleagues selected over me! I was livid. I hated all of them. I made my work environment toxic because I was so mad, even though I like the woman who is now my supervisor. I had to work on forgiving each of them and forgiving myself for not making the cut. I knew I was the only one suffering at my own hands. This is something I had to work through. Anyone who can jump right to the non-judging must be some higher being. As for me, I will never let up on yelling at Fox News, should I happen to hear it! Moral outrage can be important too 🙂


    There is always a personal cost to judging others, and I have found by personal experience that it is NEVER worth it. There’s no way around it- it is a law of the universe that bitterness and unforgiveness are the fruit of selfishness.

    But we might say, “But I am not a selfish person”…just the fact that we say, “It’s not fair- I demand justice” is indication that we operate from an egocentric perspective, “I win you lose” perspective.

    It has been said, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but bitterness rots the bones”; if we harbor bitterness, judgement and unforgiveness against someone, we will pay for it, and it is never worth it. I have seen this law affect people’s health- I can show you the patients who will progress well after surgery and the ones who will be stuck in the revolving door of disease, for example.

    Take the high road, suck it up, swallow our pride, extend peace, and watch healing in action- it is truly amazing.

  8. Mathias says:

    As someone close to this experience, it’s helpful for me to realize how judge mental I was not just of them, you, myself, the courts… to what end? Thanks as always for working and walking the path, leading the way.

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