A world without judgment

Dave Cortright
2 min readNov 8, 2022

In coaching, one of the primary ways I support my clients is by offering a distinction, which is essentially a reframing; an alternate interpretation of a particular situation.

One common distinction is shifting to a perspective of curiosity without judgment. This is a concept in Buddhism known as tathātā (roughly translated as suchness or thusness or even is-ness).

For example, take the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs; was that good or bad? Compelling arguments can be made on both sides. On the one hand, it caused a massive amount of suffering, death, and loss of biodiversity. But on the other, it created space in the ecosystem necessary for mammals to flourish on the planet. The asteroid strike was a necessary step on the way to humans evolving to become the dominant species.

A judgment-free perspective simply notes that this event did happen, and it did cause this chain of subsequent events. It is neither good nor bad. It just is.

Heather Lanier makes the point that good and bad are simple and incomplete stories that we tell ourselves in her TED talk, using the parable of the farmer who lost his horse.

See if you can shift your perspective next time from a place of good and bad to it just is.

(This goes hand-in-hand with the antimatter rule.)

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Dave Cortright

Professional coach, effective altruist and audaciously optimistic about helping to fix the global mental health crisis. https://designingthis.life