Friday, 17 April 2015


Outward judgment often fails, inward judgment, never- Theodore Parker

We all make certain mistakes in life. Some of these mistakes have short term effects. Others can cause a lasting scar. Some mistakes are deemed short term pleasures but if care is not taken, these short term pleasures can result in long term bondage and regret. There are times that we "jump the gun" and run into conclusions that if we had allowed a little bit more time, we would not have drawn such conclusions. Sometimes some of our decisions are judgemental and funny to say the least and one can only wonder after the deed is done as to why we passed such judgment. This brings to mind the act of passing judgement. Have you ever been judged wrongly per your attitude, state of mind, ability or even disability, idea or creed? Have you ever judged anyone wrongly? ( that is more like it). The funny thing about passing judgment is that when you realize that you "misfired" per your earlier decision, it becomes extremely difficult to come to terms with yourself to accept the truth or new developments once they are revealed or you reach the stage of enlightenment. Growing up as children, there were many misconceptions that flooded our days. We were made to believe and as it were "unbelieve" certain things that happened around us by virtue of our geographical location, cultural practices and belief systems, skin colour, religious affiliations, social and even our parents' political affiliations. We therefore sadly formed varying opinions about issues in life, friends, family members, some groups in society and even we got more superstitious while at it. Some of our opinions when heard are really quite amazing and till you listened to people's opinions on certain subjects, you would never believe people held such thoughts and have passed certain judgements about life and some of life's situations. I have a friend who hates Roman Catholics and the Catholic church with so much passion. Her reason is that she was told that they killed Jesus Christ. This judgement is as a result of the opinions she formed since her childhood and no matter the countless Easter movies she has seen, she still holds dear to this "assertion". I have tried time without number to "brainwash" her but it seems to be yielding less results. Honestly, when I heard of Nima (a suburb of Accra), I passed the judgment that per the news we always heard about them, it was a chaotic suburb filled with no more than just hooligans who could even do harm in broad daylight. Little did I know that my best friend was going to live and grow up in Nima. The first time I had to visit him, I went with my laptop and anyone I told that I was going to Nima was sceptical about the whole thing. I held my laptop so firmly to my chest (even though it was in a backpack). As I walked down the street to his house, all that greeted me were lovely faces, aroma from the Waakye sellers' stew and of course the Burkina ( a beverage made with millet and milk) vendors. I was so ashamed that I had passed such judgment on such a place based on hearsay. The words of Napoleon Hill even made me realize my bias that "No accurate thinker will judge another person by that which the other person's enemies say about him".
 There is no telling how many times I have frequented Gabriel's house and there has not been a single occasion for an altercation as I was made to believe. We are all to some extent guilty of passing judgment quickly and some of us have been victims of this unfortunate plight (having judgement passed on us). It has cost us securing jobs, friends, opportunities and what have you. Passing judgments has had dire effects in history. Many wars have been fought due to passing judgment and we are all well aware of the repercussions of those wars. The way forward is that we live and let live. We must not be too quick to judge or be the first to "christen" what is right and what is not till we have had first hand experience. We must learn to be tolerant. We should learn to see beyond the walls of people's "disabilities" and allow them to at least have their "day in court" before we bang our gavel of judgment.
Let us all endeavour to have a bit of Edmund Husserl's "epoche" by bracketing our own opinions and viewing issues and even people without any form of preconceived bias. Therefore, I would conclude by borrowing the words of Seneca (Seneca the Elder) that "Before you judge, investigate" Let us all ponder over this the next time we are making any form of judgment  that if even God does not plan to judge a man till the end of his days, why should you and I? My name is Edwin Oko Lamptey and this is a "no bias" R.A.T (RANDOM AFRICAN THOUGHT). More at

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