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I think it was Mark Twain that originally said, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience, well, that comes from bad judgment.”  Everybody at some point in their lives (usually early on) has to check if the skillet is hot.

In the same vein, almost all of us, at one time or another, have hastily cast judgment on someone, and later, of all things, realized we were wrong. Not all our scars are easily seen, not all our wounds heal, and not all of our maladies are obvious. Judgment is a stone best kept in your pocket. The truth is, we all find it much more difficult to judge ourselves than others – and we know ourselves… We all have to remember that each one of us has a story – a path we’ve taken, or been cast upon. Criticizing is easy, it requires no effort. Have the courage to try to find the good in people, or at least have the courage to seek out what made them who they are… Give the gavel to God. We weren’t meant to be judges.

I believe that happiness, which is something we all seek, is most easily found when we stop comparing ourselves to other people. Seek the good in those you meet and forgive their shortcomings. Exercise your judgment judiciously – hone it in that fashion so that it becomes a valuable tool in life. Rely on your intellect and your faith without criticizing others for theirs. It’s not your beliefs that make you a better person. It’s your behavior.

Good judgment (in terms of your own life) is literally something you can develop, like the muscles in your body. You can practice consciously making the right decision by analysis, not by emotions, or impetuousness – by choosing your course with judicious daily exercise. He who picks up a cat by the tail has learned a lesson the hard way. I love the expression by the writer Tom Robbins: “Every day is judgment day. Always has been, always will be…”

I’m going to leave you with another of my favorite quotes, by the American entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn: “Success is nothing more that a few simple disciplines practiced every day. While failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that lead us to either fortune or failure.” 

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