#116 – We Can All Do Better

You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked;
For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the
black thread and the white are woven together.
Kahlil Gibran

Here come de Judge! Here come de Judge! Judge Judy that is. We probably don’t have to tell you who that is if you are an American with a pulse. But maybe you didn’t know the following: Amy Poehler who presented Judith Sheindlin with the Emmy lifetime achievement award in May [2019] said of her: “She tells the truth, and she makes decisions based on what she thinks is right, not what other people think.” (1-38)

Perhaps the reason that ten million people watch her show each day (as opposed to the 3.9 million watching the number two rated show, “Dr. Phil”) is because people are hungry for the justice which is absent from their lives. “She creates a world in which prejudice has no power and people are rewarded or punished simply for their actions, not for who they are.” (1-39)  There is no other in Judge Judy’s worldview.

Of course, “Judge Judy” is good entertainment in part because of her talent as an actor and comedienne. “I want first-time offenders to think of their first appearance in my courtroom as their second-worst experience of their lives, circumcision being the first.” (1-39)

However, this essay is not primarily about Judge Judy but the principles of Simple Reality about which Judy Sheindlin has an intuitive understanding. She seems to sense that the worldview of Oneness is a prerequisite to creating a sustainable human community. “Sheindlin believes that the human condition is a collective one and that good people act accordingly. People who don’t appreciate a sense of community? They are the problem.” (1-39)

A Jewish woman described her experience in Sheindlin’s courtroom as “worse than being at Dachau.” An exaggeration no doubt, but Judge Judy realizes that all of us create our own reality and for our own sake we must take responsibility for our behavior. “Her show neither coddled nor exploited sob stories—it just cut through them to get to the truth.” (1-41)

The people who stand in front of Judge Judy’s bench are in fact guilty of only one self-destructive act, they chose to react (anger) instead of respond (compassion) to what was happening. Her insight in these situations is what enables her to usually make a fair decision. “My gift, if you can call it a gift, is that I understand what motivates people.” (1-39)  And what motivates most of us is greed, pleasure and power.

“Through her career, Sheindlin saw the chaos of children being abused and children being starved and children being beaten, and then the chaos of neighbors feuding over property damages and former lovers arguing over credit cards and old friends trying to settle debts, and despite it all, she knew that we could do better.” (1-53) And, of course, we can!

Insight # 116: Wisdom is not judgment; it is the relinquishment of judgment. (2)



  1. Hughes, Jazmine. “She’s Judging You.” The New York Times Magazine. June 23, 2019, pages 38, 39, 41, 53.
  2. A Course in Miracles, Volume Three: Manual for Teachers. Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975, page 25.

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