I have made a promise to myself more than to my readers and that is not to write about politics or religion. Not that I am not a patriotic or a non-believer, I just find politics very hypocrite and unfair and religion being too personal to allow another person to interfere or judge my faith. I think I have decided to write about random things and/or situations that I personally learned a lot from, in the hope of passing on the message to people all over the world. And also because I love talking about myself; I mean what could be more interesting than me?!

Today, I will talk about a personality trait that, I personally believe, all Pakistanis are born with (!). And that is the act of judging people around us. This is a phenomenon that all Pakistanis are incorporated with. But the sad part is that the majority of our people are not even aware of it, it is like a built-in program of their life, like a habit just like eating, drinking, etc. As a result, we are not even aware of its negative impact not only on people around us in the society but on ourselves as well as an individual. I was no different few years ago too, just like any other Pakistani. And then I moved out of Pakistan and realized how wrong and unfair I have been in my life, with others. It took me a while to get rid of this nasty habit but boy, once it was gone, life became so pretty!

I absolutely do not want to preach anyone through this article of mine, but only want to share one of my many personal experiences which enabled me to see the world in a different and better way. Acknowledging and accepting and then correcting a bad trait are, in my opinion, a real achievement of an individual. It would be foolish to believe that we, as a person, are flawless or even perfect. And trust me: a lot of people among us tend to do that! I will give a few examples of this act which I was able to recognize in my own personality, and then later on work on them. When I started going to school in Pakistan, it was an English medium one, and at that point in time, my English wasn’t that good (not that it is any better now!), reason being I had lived my childhood and some important teen years of my life in France. Once I started attending school in Pakistan at a rather tender age when my mentality formation was at its peak, I became aware of certain classes, some unreasonable protocols, and of course money power. Suddenly, the brand of my car that used to pick and drop me at school became more significant than the words of my books. Suddenly, the clothes I used to wear outside school with my class fellows became more important than what my religious belief preached me. I was introduced to arrogance. I was introduced to the judging act. And then, just like a miracle, life hit me. Hard. And boy, how grateful I am for that! It hit me through more personal experiences, small little things that might not be significant for others, but I tend to read a lot into little tiny things and I cherish the impact they have on my mind and by extension on my life.

I am absolutely not implying that I hated that part of my life at that point in time. I was the lucky one I believe, I was able to learn from, making it as the referral point I managed to become a better person. One of my achievements which I am really proud of today is how I learned to respect people around me. It is not only through my words that I do so, but through my actions, my behavior, and my approach towards them.

Every single person around us, no matter what social background he/she comes from, deserves our best behavior, our best words and our best attitude. Why wouldn’t he? Who decides who is better than whom anyway? In my opinion, judging others is a disease inside our bodies, our minds. One needs to get rid of it as soon as possible, through proper approach. We need to construct ourselves as a society, as a human being by getting disease free. I know the transition period is not easy, it’s rather tricky more than anything else. But definitely not impossible. As I mentioned earlier, I was one of the lucky ones as I got away from Pakistan and got away from a very judgmental society. This made it simple if not easy, I admit. But I’ve started noticing that the youth of today is bringing this change: live and let live. And why not? Don’t we have enough worries of our own than to worry what our neighbor’s daughter is doing out so late at night, dressed in a particular way?! I mean, come on guys! Let’s start worrying what our life would look like in the next five years and let’s try to work hard towards our goals. Life is way too short, so let’s not waste it by thinking and assuming the worst of other people around us. Judging others never gave me anything concrete in return. All I gained was mere headache! Boy, I gave a lot of business to Panadol manufacturers! Again, I repeat, I am not here to preach anyone, everyone who reads this article I am sure is a responsible individual. But if it makes slight sense to anyone of you out there, then why not give it a shot? I mean, what do you have to lose, right?

 The writer is a PhD French literature. She's now a professor of French settled in Canada.