Saturday, April 02, 2005

Judge and Budge

Judge and Budge

I must reserve a blog entry for Wong Kar Wai's 2046 which I only managed to catch on my Singapore Airlines flight back from the Philippines. As usual any Wong Kar Wai movie would require at least three viewings to fully appreciate its visual lushness and emotional nuances.

I managed to watch it twice during my flight, but that is still insufficient for me to do justice to the movie. So I'll reserve my comments for the meantime and write about something else today. I also need time to fully digest its multifaceted theme of love, memory and time.

I think we tend to rush to judgement about things too easily. We don't even ask ourselves whether it is even necessary to judge. Why do we always need to label something or someone good or bad?

The mind has this habit of judging simply because it dislikes uncertainty. We want to put things into boxes so that we know how to sort them out easily. When things can be classified and categorized neatly, we can make decisions quicker.

The world is made simpler if we can label everything and everyone either black or white, enemies or friends, instantly. It is a habit programmed in our genes and honed by evolution. In the jungle where only the fittest survive, our mamallian ancestors had to made split-second fight or flight decisions. Uncertainty equals death and extinction.

But in our daily lives, not many situations that we encounter are life and death ones. What's wrong with leaving things inconclusive?

We will always find some people difficult because they live by a different paradigm. They are just different, not necessarily bad. They might do things which we disapprove of or even hurt us, but still we can respond appropriately without judgement. Too many negative judgements breeds hatred. Hatred is one emotion we don't need to carry around unnecessarily because it saps too much of our mental energy.

I think it is important for us to feel comfortable with uncertainty. Uncertainty does not mean ignorance. It is in fact an expression of confidence in our ability to revise and self-correct.

Things are just the way they are. If we need to make a judgement call at some point, we are fully aware of our fallibility. A judgement call is merely a small test--a sampling procedure to gather more information so that we can reduce our level of uncertainty.

No judgement is ever final. It is part of a constant process of refinement. Judge and budge--that's how we should move forward.

No comments: