Ahh, the haze of youth.  I remember, quite vividly, when I was still in the age of minority that ‘Here Come Da Judge’ was a Flip Wilson endeavor.  I can still see him in my mind’s eye spouting the eponymous catch-phrase.

As part of my usual extensive column research, I quickly searched Google for Flip Wilson trivia hoping for some pithy treats.  Unfortunately, Google was wrong.  So I went to Duck Duck Go.  They were wrong too.  So I eventually had to go to my Funk and Wagnalls.  Apparently, Da Judge was skit on Laugh-In.  Ok, fine.  But, it wasn’t even Flip Wilson.  It was…wait for it… Pigmeat Markham! And later, Sammy Davis, Jr.  I was crushed.  Is my memory fading?  What other codger-related ailment awaits me?

Here’s the saddest part:  I also recently tested positive for judginess.  And there is no known cure.  Alas, things are not as they once were.

I was at the park the other day with my grandson, Chumley, when a cute mom was helping him down from a particularly treacherous perch (way to go, Pop-Pop).  My first thought was, “Well, that was nice.”  Then she turned around and I saw that her arms and legs were covered with tattoos.  My second thought was less charitable (Run, Chumley!).

Turns out, tats aren’t just for ex-cons or rock stars anymore.  They’re also on Christians and meth heads and members of Congress and gang members and your neighbors and your kids.  In short: pretty much everyone.  And I do try to remember that, but sometimes my judgy brain just won’t let me.

That’s why I can’t count the money at church.  After Sunday service, the volunteers go into the counting room to tabulate the proceeds (We actually have a counting room.  Weird, huh?). They have asked for volunteers before, but I always abstain.  I’ve been living with me for a while now.  I know myself.  I’d judge.  I’d compare myself against all the other sinners.  

Back in the day, I would sometimes work at a food pantry. One Saturday, a guy drove up in a Cadillac to get some food.  There was a certain someone (ok, it was me) who was not favorably disposed towards this turn of events.  Well, maybe he also sleeps in it.  You never know.  As the saying goes: You never know what someone is going through, so just be kind.  Always be kind.

In essence, all our judgementalism stems from comparing ourselves to others whom we typically find wanting.  It makes us feel superior, but it’s not a fair comparison because we can’t really know what’s going on inside them.   As the famous evangelist Billy Graham is quoted as saying: “It is God’s job to judge and my job to love.”

Let’s do that.

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