Thursday, August 23, 2007

Confessions of a Judgemental Mind

Sudha ran an interesting article the other day, writing about the 10 things that she judged people by. She's tagged me to do the same, and I thought, I consciously stay away from negative emotions on my blog because I'm such a cynic at heart. So do I really want to do this? But then I said, what the heck, lets give it a go!, but I know, this is going to be ugly. So here are my 6:

They live life within their comfortable closed loop of thinking. They mock those who are brave enough to experiment, and react bucolically when someone confronts them on the shut windows of their dust-gathering brains. They are the parochials, the narrow-minded ones. I find quite a few Indians here, and also in India who can be described such: they are parochials on issues such as integration with non-Indians, respecting people for qualities other than wealth, and attitude towards women. I judge them instantly and I instantly despise them.

Their minds, in an effort to make sense of the complications around them, simplify by classification. They occasionally get lost in the maze of things, and to rationalize, they run to the help of adjectives. They are the stereotypers, the judgers. They judge you from day 1, moment 1. They judge you oh-so-unfairly even before you open your mouth: they have already labelled you based on your appearance. "You are wearing outdated fashions, you are so uncool, you would be so boring to speak to!" "You are Muslim, oooh you must be a fanatic" "You are so hyper, its because you are insecure about yourself!"- their minds are at it already. I pity them for their unevolved thinking, and really cant stand it when they proceed to share with me their half-baked judgements of me. So ironic, but I judge judgers.

They love to focus on the grim realities of life, only that they do it to an unreal extent. They brood over the wrongs, the lows, the sorrows. The fact that they call themselves "practicalists" is probably the only euphimistic thing they can ever do: they are the pessimists, the half-empty ones. Most of them refuse to play the odds: they are content with making no effort and then complaining about it for weeks after. "What are we doing yar, we dont have a girlfriend" "Some people are earning so much, shit we have no money as compared to them." They look at life's bell curve with one conveniently blind eye, focussing only on the part thats better off than them. They defy the purpose of life, happiness.

They sweat over the small stuff all day, and they do it so well that they are bloody good at it. In the process however, they lose touch with the broader meaning of their lives. They fret and fume about love affairs, about doing things as per schedule, about pleasing their bosses, while they lose no sleep over where their life is heading. I call them the microscopes, the 9-to-5s. (Ariel says I was one of them a few years back!)

They are the spoilt kids of yesteryears, born with a silver spoon up their arses. They strutted about in college in their own elite cabals, laughing at the rest of the world and their lack of social tact. Somewhere down the line, they forgot to do anything useful, while the gawks worked away. Let me introduce to you the rich-dad-poor-kids, the arro-cants. You find them in different kinds- punks in RAIT ("ultra-cool" engg. college in Bbay) or the ICSE kids. There's a great sense of achievement to meet them now, remember at being laughed at, and to have the last laugh.

They spend all day sitting in front of the TV, fascinated by the kitsch that cable television throws at us. Content to vegetate with their own lives, they excite themselves vicariously with the ongoings of celebrity lives- Abhishek Bacchan's new hairdo or Preity Zinta's broken foot, they know about them all. The PR-driven hypocrisy of these "icons" of our society doesn't ever faze their enthusiasm- they are our country's starry-eyed's, the couch potatoes. We dont have a shortage of role models to look upto, but whose to look beyond Bollywood? I think they (and there are many of them) are the bane of modern India.

And, finally not to forget those, for whom there is no black or white, but just various shades of greys. No thought excites them, and no action disgusts them. Existence for them is a clinical and emotion-less duty that they fulfil- they are the impassionates, the fence-sitters. I get frustated by their lack of passion for anything, by their inability to stand up for any cause or attitude.

And oh, by the way, I also judge diplomats, cunning foxes, backbitchers, sweet-talkers, boasters....:)
(And I tag Ariel to air her judgements!)


Priya said...

I am happy you are writing quite often now after the long hiatus...

Dunno why the post reminded me of the movie "fight club" :P

srikant said...

good post :)..
but boasters?? :p

Atticus said...

@Priya: thanks so much..will try to keep up the frequency.

interestign thought abt the fight club- i liked the dialogues in the movie but wasnt too fascinated by them, but now that you mention, my thoughts are similar!

@Srikant: thanks for dropping by, BM! hehe i meant boasters in a different way, not light-hearted boasting like I like to subject you to! :)

Christabel said...

How do you know you know someone well enough to pass a judgement? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you find someone has judged you for exactly the same thing that you've judged someone else and they are oh so wrong about you?

Atticus said...

@X'bel: Thats a fair point indeed, and I touch upon it in #2. I guess one tries to give someone a few chances before arriving at a conclusion. And ones does try to give people the benefit of adverse situations etc...

in cases like point 1 for e.g, its difficult to have a misjudgement. If someone is being narrow-minded, she is being narrow-minded, now two ways abt it. same for pts 4 & 5.

unpredictable said...

Hey sam... love ur writing as always .. touches such a chord .. the ones i can totally agree with are couch potatoes, the 9 to 5s and the impassionates! I hate that they don't have a spectrum of emotions and their response to my own is 'hyper'! grrr!
Do write about the ppl u admire as well ... will be a nice positive feel after this blog :)

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Ro Ro Ro a Boat said...

I would def put this blog on my "things everyone thinks about/ does, but no one acknowledges" list. The fact remains that we all judge- and pretty much all the time- esp with people we dont really know. "Is this guy hitting on me", "Hmmm I wonder what it would be like to date this chap", "this girl is super friendly, I wonder why" et al et al. Some judging is just more conscious than some others. And the fact remains that while we all object to being judged, we judge (albeit at a subconscious level) all the time. Your blog puts things into perspective- the categories cover virtually everyone!! hai na?

Atticus said...

hey Roa- just read your comment, sorry! yeah totally agree. there is judgement in judging, as you say, and you can be an intelligent judger, not falling into the stereotype trap.

thanks for the good words :)

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