La Voz de Galicia – August 26, 2022 →

Cristina PatoI have spent some days mulling over the reasons that we tend to judge others for the sake of judging, sometimes in a way as undesirable as it is violent. I am not talking about justice nor about criminals; I am talking about the quotidian way of judging, of our habit of judging people and their actions day to day. It feels particularly present in social media even though it is also very present in the real world, and this week I wondered whether one thing was related to the other…That is to say, we have always been like this, we have always criticized others, but the fact that every day there are hundreds of thousands of people judging other hundreds of thousands, for whatever reasons, I suppose gives rise to the normalized reaction of judging without thinking, without reflecting on what it means, without taking circumstances into account.

I don’t know whether destructive criticism was already there before television normalized it in politics, in culture and in society. I suppose it was there because the history of any town, village, or city teaches us that folks’ informal judgment is powerful enough to make someone feel as if they don’t belong in a community. But during these days I thought about that phrase by Ortega y Gasset, «I am I and my circumstance,» and how important it is to understand one’s circumstances to be able to learn not to judge (or criticize) another. We are all victims and executioners of these popular judgments, not only public people. And in this complex reality in which we live, where survival is already complicated, what need have we to spend our energy in judging those who decide to live life on their own terms, according to their circumstances? So then are we not all free to construct happiness in the context in which we live today?

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