June 5th, downtown DC, 78 degrees.
Unexpectedly I’ve become very judgmental and frankly I’m embarrassed to admit it. A couple weeks ago I found $220 cash, by the Washington Monument. I waited around for quite a while to see if anyone would come back and appear to be looking for something. No one came, and so I took the money home and vowed publicly to find someone who is “unnoticed” to give the money to.
I forgot about it. Until today….
This morning I was walking through downtown DC remembering I had $220 to give away and so I started looking. If you’re familiar with downtown you know Farragut Square, which was where my appointment was, is full of homeless people often begging for money. As I started walking, I started evaluating candidates. “Too aggressive.” “Too needy.” “Too out of it.” I thought as I made snap judgements about people based on their looks and determined who was worthy of the $220 today.
Then it hit me. In a microcosm in my head, I was demonstrating exactly what is wrong with so much of what is going on right now. I was seriously judging people’s worthiness for the $220, based on physical appearance and the determination I made from that. Wow.
I quickly came to my senses. Now, before you start judging me (admit it, you’ve already started) here’s the thing – that’s what the mind does. Judge. The mind is a judging machine, all day, every day, with everyone, in every scenario. Listen to it for a minute.
Luckily, we are born with presence of mind, which means we are only susceptible to our thoughts if we choose to be. That does however require just the tiniest bit of space between our thoughts which is usually enough to let something else come in. Call the phenomenon what you want, there is someone else in that space between our thoughts. And it’s not a thought.
Admittedly I was disturbed by my judgmental moment. Then I realized that too is a judgement and merely a thought…