Thought Experiment: Judgement

Let’s take a moment to think.


You see someone beautiful and completely radiant cross your path. You watch them pass and notice, they are horribly disfigured.
You see someone ugly and disgustingly appalling cross your path. You watch them pass and notice, they are horribly disfigured.

Who do you believe’s tragedy is greater? The person of immense beauty or the person who didn’t have any type of beauty to begin with?

At the moment I’m reading a book called The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan and there is a very interesting passage that I would like to share with all of you:

“…I heard [Sister Yu] say, ‘What a tragedy that a boy so handsome has to be lame.’ Perhaps this was supposed to comfort the students as well. But to my mind she was saying Kai Jing’s tragedy was greater than that of others simply because he was born more pleasing to the eye. How could Sister Yu, of all people, think such a thing? If a rich man loses his house, is that worst than if a poor man loses his?”

The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

Really interesting read, highly recommended, actually any of her books are really good reads.

Really interesting concept.
Which is worst?

My opinion: As spectators we aren’t allowed to categorize the weight of another person’s tragedies. Bad things happen and the weight of them is irrelevant especially to the one who is suffering and we all know we had once been that person, one time or another. In the moment of adversity nothing matters, nothing can really make you feel better except maybe time and a pint of ice cream.
In any case you usually aren’t at all well-informed of their situation. These split-second generalizations come from a chance encounter. Chances are you don’t know them, you probably don’t even know their name. At this point, why are you even judging this person? You don’t know them. It’s not your place.

Illustration Friday: Red

3 thoughts on “Thought Experiment: Judgement

  1. Exactly! Also, like it is said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Who’s the say that the “beautiful” person is truly beautiful, or the “ugly” person truly ugly?

    ‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’ is my favorite Amy Tan book. Thanks for reminding me to re-read it! (I still have to read her new book!)

    1. Ahhh! I love her books because the culture is so interesting and already similar to my personal culture, being Vietnamese. I’m so glad that you already like the book! :D

  2. My feelings is that the tragedy is equally tragic no matter who it happens to. Think of it in terms of a Role-Playing game. You get stabbed in the leg and you’re crippled, no matter what, it’s still going to cripple you. -10 to movement. You could say, “Oh no, our thief can’t run,” or, “Oh no, our warrior can’t fight,” and it means the same thing. Everyone has something to offer to the party, so it’s equally tragic no matter who it happens to.

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