Being Non-Judgmental – The 40-60-80 Principle




We were headed on the Bengaluru – Hassan highway in my cousin's car. The weather was glorious, the road smooth and the conversation light-hearted. My cousin who is about to retire in two years was at the wheel. He was driving at a speed of 60 as there was weekend traffic on the road. It was the speed he was comfortable with.


Suddenly a car zoomed past us clocking 80 or above. My cousin turned to me and said, “Some people drive so rashly you see. They are the cause of all accidents on the road. Must be youngsters. No responsibility”


A little further down the road, we were passing a small village and a car was in our path going very slowly must be around 40-50. It took a little effort to pass the car and move on. An old lady was at the wheel of the car. My cousin, “Why do these people come on the highways? Is that the speed to go on a highway? These people who do not know how to drive should not be allowed on the roads” He had a comment for every driver on the road.


The highways in India have a speed limit of 80kmph. As far as I know, they don't have lower speed limits. So you are on the legally correct side if your speed is below 80. My cousin was unhappy with people driving faster than him or slower than him. People driving faster were rash, irresponsible, uncaring, possibly young, show-offs, spoilt brats and a host of other negative traits. People driving slower than him were, untrained, lacking in skill, too slow, obstructing other people, possibly old, possibly women more possibly women who were old. (Don't look at me like that, those were his words)


I was thinking isn't this how our judgments get formed. Everyone is either too much in something or too little in a trait of course compared to us who are the perfect blend of wisdom, courage, daring and all other Nature given gifts. Others are either too short-tempered or lacking in ego, while we get angry for the right reasons, with the right persons at the right time to the RIGHT DEGREE. We always travel at the CORRECT speed of 60 while others are irresponsible (80kmph) or Slow Coaches (40).


Think about it for a second. The guy zooming at 80 will consider my cousin as a slowcoach and for the driver at 40kmph, my cousin is the irresponsible brat. It applies to all the judgments we make, One person is a spendthrift who does not know the value of money and the other is a tight-fisted stingy miser while we the wise spend where it is needed. One person does not have the daring, is too soft, not adventurous and the other is an irresponsible risk-taker, does not care about family and friends, too selfish while we always take carefully calculated risks. One person we know talks too much does not know what to talk about while the other person is too self-absorbed, does not share, secretive while we talk exactly when needed and how much is needed and where it is needed. This person is too religious and that one is totally faithless and irreverent while we are the balanced ones.

We always tend to put ourselves in the correct position while others are either too much or too little.


When the judgment leaps at you next time, think that everyone drives at their comfort level and all are good as long as what they are doing is not harming others in any way. 40 is also good, 60 is also good, 80 is also good. The speed at which WE are driving is not some god-given speed that makes us the great perfect human being.

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