Appreciating the science of judgement

All too frequently I hear or read someone with the words ‘don’t judge me’ or ‘ look at your own flaws before judging others’ and while I agree with perhaps the original intent of safeguarding the innocent from our ongoing unrealistic expectations of them, I have to say that judgements do have an evolutionary function. They’re there for a reason.

And they’re natural. I think judgements are especially important in children since they can protect them from potential threats in say, potential kidnappers. Not just natural judgements either but judgements bred by parents or society play a critical role too. Let’s say the age-old rule, don’t talk to strangers.

They allow us to survive. They act as a barrier to prevent us from being placed in dangerous situations. An immensely important role in evolutionary biology.

I understand that our judgements are usually misplaced and incorrect but it’s detrimental to ourselves to completely disregard them. Assess the possible risk against your intuition and instinct and then decide whether it’s worth it.

So don’t stop judging people. Times have changed now but remember that it was once fundamental to our survival.

The cost of what you do

As I  battle my constant internal struggles, or rather, as I indulge in them, I realise that I’m paying for my addictions with my very life. Right now, a DS game has captured my attention-and kept it for more than 5 hours. It was hard to stop playing. Although I couldn’t fathom why I wanted to keep playing; my eyes stung, my back ached after being hunched over the screen, my work awaited, and the worst part is, well, it wasn’t even entertaining. It’s like I was only torturing myself because it was supposed to be fun, not that it was actually fun. So I kept playing, trying to get to better levels so I could taste that fun.

It never came.

And so right now, in the midst of my various unopened textbooks, I’ve come to realise I’ve fallen. I’m standing on burning coals intentionally, which is absurd. And in this moment, with nought but the deep silence of the room, the hum of cars moving outside, and the distant sound of water falling, have I come to know that I am better than this. I’m so much better than what I do. I need to strive so that my actions are complementary to who I am. So that my core values are not banished or compromised  in the knot that is life.

So my life doesn’t bleed out every time I do something that I don’t want to do.

Why chocolate should be banned

So you’re out to shop, browsing the stacked shelves for that one prize. Your goal. Your meagre earnings spent on that one beautiful product: chocolate. As I was eyeing the food necessities placed cunningly in the face of an unassuming customer-me-in a long-overdue shopping trip with my mum, I kept coming across chocolate. Not just a few pieces in a small section, but displayed attractively in all but one aisle (the one with vegetables, obviously). So after that unneeded annoyance of trying feverishly to blackout the gorgeous devils from my range of sight, I came up with my top 6 reasons why chocolate should be ignored (*gasp*):

1. It looks horrible-is that really something you want to eat? Look at it-no, really look at it. It’s brown, dull and doesn’t appeal  to my senses (other than my taste buds, but even then it’s just the thought of it that makes me salivate and popular portrayal-not the actual junk).

2.The packaging: it deceives, poses environmental issues and is unfairly attractive to my salivary glands. Why make it so colourful and distractive to my vision when I obviously want nothing to do with it. Obviously it’s used for marketing purposes, however it’s popularised so much within stores-major and local-that I’m forced to see it and then engage in another internal battle why I can’t have it.

3. It might taste sweet but so do apples and watermelons. Why not substitute that unnatural junk for real food; you feel fuller, and you’re taking in fewer calories so can always gorge on other stuff later. Or, by eating chocolate, you’ve got to exercise more with a higher intensity than if you’d just eaten, say, a banana to maintain a good fitness level. Do you really have that time and energy?

 4. Cocoa farmers are paid ridiculously low wages!! Yeah, yeah I’ve heard that argument before… We have to buy chocolate so that cocoa farmers are paid. That’s just another excuse for your over-indulgence. And by buying that chocolate you’re actually supporting what these huge profit-making businesses do by hardly paying enough to live by. Even fairtrade-is it really enough for a family to thrive or just for it to survive?

5. Makes me crave more! Wonder why you’re addicted? Because of those addictive substances it contains of course! This leads to me consuming more food, which in turn leads to a much larger calorie intake than I can possibly use without vigorously exercising for 2 hours straight.

6. Spots/ Pimples. My friends-the typical teenage variety who constantly vandalise their bodies with chocolate-are always complaining about spots appearing on their faces. Sure, foundation can help but that’s just another lie. It’s true-their faces do adorn spots.

Death

I know I’ll die soon. Everyone does. It’s the cycle of life: ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

How often have you thought about dying? Once a day? Once a week, month…year? Decade even? So many past nations have risen and fallen, their remains now scattered in the earth. It’s as if they were never here, like they never existed. What proof do I have that such-and-such person ever lived? Of course you could use DNA testing and all of those other snazzy science-tech tools but what if you can’t find anything to test on? No remnants of life or..or anything.

How many of those dead-those countless forgotten people-do I remember? Merely a handful compared to those who have once been. Just those who’ve changed the world in a substantial way: the scientists who advanced modern living, authors, royalty and the like. The name flashing in my skull right now is Thomas Edison. He gave us light to brighten the darkness.

We had to replace a faulty bulb today and the newer one is so much brighter.. It hurts to look at it. It’s artificial, sure, but that I’m depending on that very light to light my way-without it I would have had a few sprains by now. And before suggesting ‘candlelight, duh!’ you should know that candles are hardly as bright nor as convenient as device just hanging passively from the ceiling.

I think it’s just so profound, so, so meaningful that a person who lived, some uh, 81 years ago had the power to affect everyone’s lives today. And this is what he said: