Who is your judge?

I’ve recently finished the book “The Trial” by Franz Kafka. It is an incomplete work, but there is an end chapter that though leaves things undone, concludes the story nicely, in my opinion. I’m sure there are many people out there who have read this book and devised their own theories about what Kafka meant in his writings and so I go into this knowing that I am but one of many to ponder this work but I was deeply touched by this striking book, and it got the wheels in my brain turning…

If someone tells you that you are wrong, do you accept it? Who determines your right and wrong? You, others, a spiritual or religious guide perhaps? In other words, who is your judge? Your final arbiter?

I suppose we have to come to this answer within ourselves but if it isn’t one’s own mind, then I must say, that is granting something or someone else A LOT of control over one’s life. And though one may argue the law in the society one lives in is the final arbiter, I have to ask, is it really?

Take for example a situation in which you think you’ve done something wrong. Do you think it’s wrong because you disagree with it and feel you made a mistake or do you think it’s wrong because someone else does?

A priest in the book tells a parable to the main character K. For those who haven’t read the book, I will not repeat it here nor give anything away since one will have to draw their own conclusions as to what it means and how it applies to the story after reading it for oneself. But as for myself, after reading it, I felt like it jolted me, and though I’m still unsure of its total significance, I’m shaken. It’s made me wonder if we want what we can’t have, if we fight for something because we think we should or because we really want it, if we are wasting our life on that which doesn’t matter… Considering we are all mortal and will perish isn’t the important thing how we spend our time on earth?

It’s interesting. We can sit here and think about what toppings to get on our pizza, or what television show to DVR, or what pair of jeans to buy, but in the grand scheme of things, does any of that truly matter? And while it’s indeed important to stop and smell the roses, have our real roses been sold out to fake ones? Are we even aware anymore of what is going on in the greater world around us?

If one’s judge of what is important and what isn’t, what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what shouldn’t be, isn’t oneself, who is it? And do you trust whoever it is?

2 thoughts on “Who is your judge?

  1. I suppose some people are affected more deeply by other people’s judgments on them or opinions of their behavior than others are. I myself have always been very shaken and rattled by other people’s judgments and opinions, and I wish that weren’t so. I wish I could just say: YOU know who and what you are; ignore them. Some people can do that so automatically, but I can’t.


    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      I too had once cared about other people’s opinions and were affected by them, allowing them to be my judge of who I was and what I did, but then I realized by doing so, I was allowing others to control and direct my life and I made the choice that I didn’t want that for myself. That’s not to say if one offers their opinion, I don’t think about it. I do, but ultimately, the final arbiter of my life is me. But everyone has to come to their own decision.

      Perhaps if you ask yourself why you are so affected by others, it may help you not to be so. You CAN say to yourself, “YOU know who and what you are; ignore them.” It’s not easy, but then, most things worthwhile are not easy. Though this may take work, it’s never too late to change…


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