There’s truth to the saying that as we get older, we get wiser. But there’s something more important than that – as we get older we (I hope) get less judgmental … about ourselves and others.

There’s no getting around getting older. Yet, by getting older I see and experience so many more cool things. I have a far greater understanding of the toll that finding fault and holding grudges take on one’s well-being and peace of mind. I understand that anger can age one more than sitting in the sun year after year. I’m more understanding of the mistakes that I and others make. I realize there is nothing, not one single thing more important than love.

Sometimes we want to erase various memories from our lives. Things we did to others or others did to us. But I don’t want to erase anything. Those things (the bad and good) make me who I am today. Why be disappointed in various experiences or people in our lives? Don’t misunderstand me here – having social discernment is critical. The journey toward becoming our best selves entails associating with people and things that reflect and strengthen our most deeply held values. We must be discerning. Yet, we must let go of judgment.

I came across a quote recently, “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.” Henry Boye

I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy meeting people halfway for many of my “younger” years. I thought I knew the right path and assumed people would come down my road. Yet, as I get old(er) I can plainly see that my path is not the only path. Thank g-d for that!

My gift to myself this year is the gift of non-judgmental grace. That is, instead of passing judgment on others, I’m going to empathize. Rather than assuming, I’m going to listen and observe. Sure, people say things I disagree with all the time. But rather than scorn them (even if just in my mind) I am going to give them my full attention. Maybe if I can gain the trust of someone who disagrees with me, then we can meet halfway. Can you imagine how much one could learn that way? Can you imagine how different the world (and certainly our country) would be if we met each other half-way and freaking tossed all the anger?

Using the lyrics of John Lennon – someone who wanted peace and love – I leave you with his last major live performance. He’s singing with Elton John about accepting people doing what they need to do in life – without judgment. What a novel idea.

As I get older, I realize that there’s no wrong or right. Whatever decisions we make, will end up being the right ones. Do what you need to do to get through each day and night … and (try to) appreciate every moment.