My mum, who is chin wagging with the angels, always used to say that you should not judge people. Sage advice.
We are not supposed to pass judgement even though it means we have considered matters and reached a sensible conclusion because if we get it wrong or judge harshly all that happens is that we sour relationships and upset people. And, as we all know, people are easily upset especially when they feel judged.
On legal issues, we leave judgement to the judge because she should be across everything presented for both sides of a case. On everyday issues… well, none of us is really in possession of the facts and we let opinion rule. My mum was against opinion despite having a few of her own.
So we should avoid judgement in the everyday or risk getting it wrong. You never really know the truth of a person’s motivation unless you’re really good at reading behind their eyes.
Only there is more. There is also discernment, the ability to judge well. As Wikipedia states…
“Within judgment, discernment involves going past the mere perception of something and making nuanced judgments about its properties or qualities. Considered as a virtue, a discerning individual is considered to possess wisdom, and be of good judgement; especially so with regard to subject matter often overlooked by others.”
Berated for judging, heralded for nuanced judging, because if you are good a discernment then you have wisdom.
Oh my, how fickle it all is.
Don’t judge but be discerning.
Reminds me of Joe Jackson’s ‘It’s different for girls’ lyric
Mama always told me save yourself
Take a little time and find the right girl
Then again don’t end up on the shelf
Logical advice gets you in a whirl
Here is some healthy thinking on this conundrum
- Make it a habit not to judge
- When a judgement is required keep it to yourself
- Only tell anyone your judgement when forced by a sharp object
- Don’t try to explain your judgement
- Never try to justify any judgement even if it is forced out of you
- Practice discernment on yourself
- Remind yourself that discernment is so rare it is nearly extinct
- Smile instead
Oh yes, and listen to your mum.