Judging Others and Jumping To Conclusions

By Purnacandra das Goswami - 22.9 2022

Purnacandra das Goswami: Westerners, in general, take too much for granted and are not careful enough in social dealings.
Modern Western society conditions one to artificially come too close, too soon without respect for one another.
Modern Western society respects nothing beyond fame, money and sexual prowess; it is the antithesis of Vaishnava culture.
Prematurely judging others and jumping to conclusions are other negative traits found almost everywhere, which most of us must admit. These traits, born of the mode of passion, create dissension.
We should seek to understand our fellow devotees and try to accommodate them. This principle is basic to all religious people and holds true even in mundane dealings.
Here is a story that illustrates the point of prematurely judging others and jumping to conclusions.
Once, a man was sitting on a park bench, quietly reading a newspaper. A moment later, another man with three children came along and also sat down on the bench.
The man with the children looked morose and stared at the ground, but his children began to clamor for attention. The man ignored them and the children began to fight among themselves. The first man was trying to concentrate on his newspaper, but the children were making quite a disturbance. He thought, “Why doesn’t this man control his children?”
Ten minutes passed. Finally the first man suddenly put down his newspaper and turned to the second man and said, “Why the hell don’t you control your children? Can’t you understand that they’re
creating a nuisance? It’s so disturbing!”
The second man slowly turned to the first, and with tears in his eyes, replied, “My wife has just died of cancer. I’ve come from the hospital. My children think that she’s gone to sleep. They don’t know that she’s dead, but they sense that something’s wrong. I don’t know how to explain it to them.” On hearing this, the first man realized that he had made a mistake. He acted too soon without properly understanding the situation.
Nowadays, if a devotee is accused of something, many jump to a conclusion and consider him guilty without knowing the details. And if a devotee is factually guilty of a crime or misbehavior, many hold it against him even twenty years later, never considering the possibility that he could have repented and become purified through devotional service. This closed-mindedness indicates a lack of faith in the process of bhakti and a lack of proper culture.