Whilst few of us would walk around saying things like – just look at the mess she’s made of that, I could have done the job so much better – we are insecure beings and all of us judge those we meet and mentally compare ourself to them. Perhaps we find ourself lacking or perhaps we find the other lacking, but whether we build a strong and competent self or a weak and incompetent one, it is still a self that we are creating in our heads and as a result of which we suffer.
The seventh Great Precept encourages us to notice when we are judging and comparing and to pay attention to what we are saying to ourselves and what we feel when we do that. And why are we doing it? However strong a sense of self we might build it is always a fragile refuge and it always comes at the expense of keeping a barrier between ourself and others.
But we should not berate ourself for judging and comparing. The liberating aspect of this precept is to show us how we create the delusion of separation and how it can be dissolved by kindly attention and acceptance. What we are today has been conditioned by all the circumstances of our lives. There is no point in blaming oneself or others, the past cannot be changed, but we can transform our habitual behaviour by looking deeply into it with a compassionate heart.