I never used to think I was a judgmental person, but lately I have begun to realise that sometimes when I look at people around me, from strangers to close friends to old school mates that I bump into for the first time in years, I readily jump to conclusions about their characters and their lives, based on what I can see of them. I think, “Wow, I’m glad I’m not in that situation,” or, “Man, I wish my life was like that.” And that is not okay. It is like judging an artist’s music or character based on sensationalised stories you’ve read in the media.
In fact I have no idea whether they are content with their circumstances or not. They probably don’t want the same things I want from life or have the same goals I have. They probably wouldn’t miss the same things from their lives as I would. They don’t see themselves the way I see them, as failures or successes, because they are not measuring themselves against the same set of criteria for success. I have no right to make that call. They have made different choices to me, but that does not mean either of us is right or wrong, or that either of us have done the right or the wrong things. We are just different. The scope for acceptable and desirable lifestyles is relative and much wider than I once believed.