It may just be a judgment call

“Judge not, lest ye be judged”. “I’m not judging you”. “Don’t be judgmental”.

From biblical times up to present day sitting in judgment of others has never been a path to popularity (Judges Wapner and Judy notwithstanding). Many wear as a badge of honor that they don’t question someone’s motives or decisions. That they don’t judge people. And those who do are unfair and biased. Blindly declaring that “I’m all in” is more often seen as a courageous show of support rather than an unthinking foray into the unknown. Is operating in a judgment-free zone a good idea? Is it even possible?

Ok, I’ll admit it. I am judging you. And you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re not judging me. Perhaps you’re in denial because you refused to acknowledge your Myers-Briggs “personality”. Sure, they told you that it was “completely voluntary” and “doesn’t really mean anything”. Then a ‘J’ (judging) ended up in your personality type and it hung around your neck like a lead-weighted character flaw. “But I’m not judgmental and bossy . . . actually I’m a very sensitive and caring person”.  A painful reminder to use better — judgment — the next time you’re asked to answer personal questions that “really don’t mean anything.”

Judgment, like luck, comes in two flavors: good and bad. They say that experience is the best teacher and good judgment comes from experience but the best experience comes from exercising bad judgment. So it’s complicated.

Gaining wisdom and insight, while important for personal growth, is not straightforward and can be downright dangerous to yourself and others. Some people use the expression “in my humble opinion” or the acronym IMHO in an attempt to deflect the judgmental tag. This is a losing strategy. No truly humble person would use the expression and the acronym just makes it more irritating.

Can a judgmental person and an accepting person be the same person? That’s really the issue isn’t it. In our society it is an acute moral failing if we are “judged” as a person who is unaccepting of others. Interesting that in this case being “judged” as an unaccepting person is somehow acceptable.

As you probably guessed my comments are a reaction to being “accused” of being too judgmental. Changing radio stations in the car from the passenger seat? Assuming “responsibility” for the TV remote? Controlling maybe, but judgmental?

“I’m not accusing you, it’s a fact!”

A fact? Hey, I’ll be the judge of that.


M. A. Duca is a resident of Twin Lakes narrowly focused on everyday life.

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