Guest blog – Steve

Steve has sent through a guest blog which went up as a comment, but I post it here for clarity, and to give space for others to respond to.

Steve and I met through this blog – he walked his Camino with his wife Jill about a month after me. They got rained on. I got sun. It still bugs him, that…


We’ve since become very good friends, as some of you might know, and we’ve spoken a couple of times on the phone. The extraordinary thing abut this blog is that it has engendered the most unlikely friendships from all over the world – and I feel like I know some of you as though we’ve been friends for years.

So here’s Steve’s blog in its entirety. No edits. Thank you Steve for these thoughts, and for your friendship…

We have collectively seemed to really wring out every last morsel that we could regarding judgment, and as expected, everyone had an opinion.  I have had to do a lot of thinking about whether I am as void of judgment as I would like to think or is that just my ego saying I have got this lesson down.
To pick up on what Bill had to say in his last post on judgment, I completely agree that our feelings about judgment must be placed in context.  If I am going around a curve with no posted speed limit sign and I slow down for safety, that is exercising good judgment but it has nothing to do with my opinion about anything or anybody.
You might call it discernment.  Taking an umbrella on a cloudy day, or putting sun screen on at the beach.  I think we all exercise these forms of judgment all day every day.  They kind of keep our world in equilibrium.
But that other form of judgment, what I will call comparative judgment, serves no useful purpose in most of our lives I think.  This is the judgment that I place on someone else’s opinions, acts, clothes, house, car, etc., etc.  
Did they take a bus on the Camino, did they sleep in hotels, did they have the right gear.  What difference does it make to me?  Just because I do it differently does that make me better than they are?  More of a pilgrim, as we have discussed?
If I disagree with someone’s words or actions does that mean I am judging them.  No, I think it just means that I might have a different way of looking at the situation.  I truly believe that each person should follow their own path without admonishment or shame from me and woe unto me if I attempt to control another to encourage them to think like I do.
I have learned to say that just because I don’t personally understand it does not make it wrong.  Just means I don’t see it the same way.  There are many gray areas in the world that we would like to make black and white.

 I believe one of the beautiful things about aging is that we are able to accept the gray in the world.  It does not have to look exactly like I see it.
We just had a pretty active contributor leave the blog for reasons known only to himself but I think it might have stemmed from this topic of judgment.  Does that make him wrong in some form or fashion or less than the rest of us who continue on with it.  Of course not.  He was just following his own pgs and decided that for him, he did not need to be affiliated with the blog.
The beautiful thing about this blog is that we all are able to live and let live and I don’t see much of anyone ever trying to change another’s point of view.  It is a good healthy interaction.  Some people choose to comment on every thread, and others like to lurk in the shadows as someone put it and get their pleasure from reading but not participating.
Does that make them less a member of the pgs family?  Of course not.  Each of us can take what we want from the blog, and leave the rest and allow all other viewers to do exactly the same thing.
I truly do try to live my life without judgment or expectation.  I have found that if I can manage my own life that it is a full time job, and I have nothing left over to manage another’s.

32 thoughts on “Guest blog – Steve

  1. I love what you have shared Steve. May I adopt the following as my new mantra “managing my own life is a full time job, and I have nothing left over to manage another’s?” I really try to live this way, but your words can serve as a needed reminder when necessary! I agree that the older I get the less my world is black and white. So many wonderful shades of gray! Thanks for sharing this post, Steve. Julie


    • Thanks Julie. I am flattered by your remarks. I try to live each day exactly as I have set forth, and it has been a very meaningful experience. It is just so much simpler. I didn’t just wake up with these revelations and what I consider fundamental truths. I had to go through some really dark days to come back out into the sunshine of truth and light and letting go. Letting go is the biggie. Once we can do that, the rest comes easier. Notice that I said easier and not easy. It’s simple, but not so easy.


  2. Steve,

    This is so eloquently written.

    I love your last paragraph, it sums it up perfectly……”I truly do try to live my life without judgment or expectation.”

    Very wise my friend, Bravo!


  3. Christians have a reputation for being judgmental. It’s been a problem for a long time. I made mention of this story the other day and will spell it out more fully now as Bill was unfamiliar with it.
    Early in the morning Jesus went to the temple. Some teachers of the law and Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in adultery and they asked Jesus if she should be stoned as the law stated. They were trying to catch him out and be able to trump up a charge with which to call for his death. But it didn’t turn out that way. Jesus didn’t forbid them from stoning her, but he suggested that the one without sin be the first to throw a stone. They slunk away. All of them. Jesus then asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
    “No one, sir,” she said.
    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.

    I understand God wants us to examine ourselves, to judge ourselves and to be instruments of grace in our dealings with others. A bit like Steve’s final paragraph.


    • Thanks Rachael –

      As you pointed out, I was not familiar with the detail of that story, only to the “take-out” – whoever is without sin should cast the first stone.

      What I don’t understand is why someone would want to walk the Camino exercising ego. Isn’t the purpose of the pilgrimage to let go of ego? To leave that behind?

      For me, passing judgement is a need to bolster ego, at someone else’s expense. What that indicates is a lack of love for yourself.

      You don’t love yourself enough, so you seek to find that love by making yourself feel good by denigrating someone else.

      So we’re talking about a lack of self esteem.



    • You are right Rachel. Christians do have a way of being judgmental, but they do not have an exclusive license on it. I think our judgments comes from our insecurities.

      The more OK I am with myself, the less I need to focus on you. I can accept you for who you are, and either include you in my life or not. But for me to try to change you is futile. I might show you another way to look at something, but you have to decide you want to change for you, not for me.


        • Hi Sister,

          Been doing really well and busy enough in a good way to just read the blogs but haven’t been able to respond alot. You all are on my mind and I love the direction that the blog is heading. It’s exciting to have connections all over the world and even more fun to think about us all meeting up! It’s critical for us all to have a place where we belong and to know we are unconditionally accepted for our likes and our differences. It’s all part of the Root Chakra and for me that’s where it all begins.

          Enjoy your special day. Xoxo


          • Thanks Bill, Yes, I am in PS permanently living and working. My Camino Talk will be on Oct 5, and Steve will be here in PS to support and assist me. Then on the 6th or 7th he and I will travel by car up the coast from Sonoma, CA (wine country) up to Vancouver, Canada and back for about 2 weeks. I know we will have a great time and will at least have our car if the rain insists on following us! LOL! And yes, I expect that we will Blog our trip so we will keep you all posted! The saga continues!


          • Jill –

            that sounds like a fantastic trip you’re both going to have.

            Such beautiful country up there, and now it will be coming into the Fall, so you’ll have all the trees changing colour, yes?

            I’m sure it will be a special time for you both.



          • I totally agree with you Bill! I’ve been wanting take this trip for years and you are correct that it will be a beautiful time, warm days, and cooler nights, colors changing and nature taking its dip into its own hibernation. It will be a very special trip for sure! xoxo


  4. When the discussion about “judgement” first arose here, I immediately thought “Whoa – these people are going to really disapprove of me!” That must illustrate some kind of irony.

    Judgements that are conceited, rash and unkind are, well.. conceited, rash and unkind. Not good! Sometimes I do that and sometimes I catch myself and try to understand both me and the situation. However, we must and do make judgements all the time – isn’t that the weighing of information against our values, to reach a decision or conclusion which is occasionally necessary? However, MY decision can quite rightly be different from YOURS, and I should respect that YOU have done the same sort of weighing and reached a different conclusion.

    As humans, we need to recognize our failings, and shouldn’t be passing judgement on another’s worth as a human being.

    However, I cannot say that I look at everyone else and “let them be.” If I see someone I love doing things that are unwise (in my judgement) depending on the circumstances I might well try to influence them.

    It IS important that we exercise kindness, and that is where I have a lot to learn.

    So… I have put in a word of defence for “judgement”. It seems to me that the forum has gone a tad overboard in denouncing it!

    – The other Clare.


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