On Making Decisions and Being a Judge


I chose to write this piece because I am trying to understand something in specific. In my life, I have encountered a countless amount of people who are of the opinion that ‘judging’ others and otherness is simply no good. Many are of this opinion, it is quite popular.

I for one judge; I judge everything – I am not saying that I make the right judgments, all I am saying is that I do always judge. I find that some decisions are more important than others and that is in itself a judgment. I suppose, I am of the opinion that judging means thinking or perhaps it is the outcome of thinking. Nonetheless, when I make a judgment, I make a choice.

For example, at the beginning of my day I look outside. Depending on the weather (and my activities of that day), I judge how I should dress: lighter for hot days, heavier for cold, etc. Even at night-time, I have to judge depending on the schedule of the following day, when I go to sleep. If I have to wake-up early, I judge that I have to go to bed a little earlier.

Do we not all have to judge, in order to make decisions and do anything? I am puzzled by the people who claim that: “we should not judge”. And at the same time, I have to laugh … when one says to another: “Do not judge”, that person in fact is judging the person who he/she is telling not to judge.

Judging is our reasoning (in my opinion). To be able to tell someone “do not judge”, one has to judge themselves. So, I can judge that someone is judging people then, turn around and say: “you are judging, stop it”? Without “judging”, one could never make a statement such as, “do not judge”.

I think that is why we have morals and values: so we can have some sort of criteria by which to make decisions in our lives. Judging is not only necessary, it is critical for surviving this three-dimensional perspective. Yet, I think judging /making decisions is something very difficult to do (perhaps an under-statement)) without any risk of mistakes/failures. A mistake though, is a lesson Life is trying to teach. Anytime we make a mistake, it means we have not learned a lesson and we will continue to make that mistake until we learn the lesson Life is trying to teach us.

I also think judging improves with experience. I do not mean age or time – I mean experiences. The more varied one’s experiences are, the better prepared one will be in making judgments. We learn from our experiences (sometimes, some of us …). Thus, my encouragement here is to be social, to travel and to experience this Matrix to its fullest.

The more we learn, the better we can judge – I do think it works that way. And I do not think one should ever be afraid to say “sorry”, “I made a wrong judgment”. Judging is not bad – judging bad is bad. We can learn from one another by talking about the way we judge. We can perhaps give advice or opinions to each other (since we live in societies and we are social animals). We can learn about each other that way and from each other.

I will not go into details here but I grew-up in a very enclosed dictatorial regime in Eastern Europe. I knew very little about other people, for example. Other people as in culture, ethnic groups and so on. I grew-up Romanian, along Romanians and the world could have all drowned around Romania and I would not have cared. Such was my judgment growing up.

Yet, now I have lived just as long in Canada. Coming here allowed me to meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures, traditions, etc. I now have learned to appreciate everything in this mysterious world. No longer in a dictatorial regime – I can travel! (I know … most people are probably thinking traveling is not a big deal but it is when you grow-up in a country where if you try to cross the border you get shot.) Traveling for me is so important. Words fail me here ... Traveling means learning; it means gaining knowledge. I hunt knowledge – it helps me judge in my opinion.

So yes, somehow I am back to judging. I am not sure we can/should expect anyone not to judge. I have been thinking about this issue for many years now. Or I can say I have been judging this issue for many years now – same thing. If anyone can logically back-up an argument with reasons on how we can operate in this three dimensional perspective without judging, I am certainly interested in hearing it. I do not pretend to have all the answers and if some of my answers need improvement and/or change, I am indeed open to change.

Cheers!

P.S. I can always link my thoughts to a hip-hop song. The Moment of Truth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4riCUJ3l6Lk

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Comments 28 comments

lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Mr. Happy, this is a delightful discussion of judging. Your reasoning is wonderfully logical.

Indeed, when we decide anything, we are judging.

Perhaps the biblical phrase means something else or something far more specific.

I understand your passion for learning. And I also have a sister-in-law from Romania. Tough life, and I love how you've come to appreciate the freedoms so many others take for granted.

Perhaps the judging in "judge not lest ye be judged" refers to judging other people as good or bad. What happens when we do this? Aren't we picturing ourselves as better than them -- superior to them? And why would that be bad? Perhaps because it feeds ego. In my own experience, ego is the root of all evil -- the heart of selfishness.

Judging what someone does is not bad, but judging the person who does it may well be evil, because it supports the source of evil.

Thanks for provoking these thoughts. I learned something in the examination of them.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Awesome comment Mr. Lone77star!

I think you explained things a little better than I did by saying: "Judging what someone does is not bad, but judging the person who does it may well be evil, because it supports the source of evil."

I do think that is a good perspective. Cheers!


moneycop profile image

moneycop 5 years ago from JABALPUR

nice hub...

in fact perception differs person to person ans with individual perception we can acclaim that we are right. So there should be a proper guidance in form of books may be holy or constitutional books for running a country...which applies a common decision to a matter.And could be followed irrespective of what ones perception is.,


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hy Mr Happy. I have judged all my life, too; the worm turned in 1983, when Judge Darrel Hester (now deceased) judged me and sent me to Huntsville for 3 years (out of 12). For something quite minor in the scale of things: but in texas, you can kill with impunity, but don't steal one dollar!!! Bob God hub, up and interesting


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

I like your point of view. Sometimes decisions are made from heart (emotions) and sometimes from mind (logic).


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

To evaluate things and make decisions that affect your own life does NOT mean judgment; it simply means awareness, which is a good thing and we should all get into this healthy habit.

In the other hand, to decide that someone’s else decisions are “right” or “wrong” (even if you think you know the details that prompted them to do this or that) is an assumption that you know best, it is presumptuous – to say the least – and it is judging at its worst.

Other than that I like you just fine; how is that for judgement?!(LOL)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Haha Petra!! I am so happy to have you by. I was thinking about you yesterday.

I will accept your judgement either way and do feel free to judge me. I think it is helpful, for me (being selfish here lol).

Many thank for dropping by and toate bune!

Cheers!

Mr. Ghimire, I like the distinction you have made - I do think it is correct. An interesting observation. Thank you.

Mr. Diogenes, thank you for your words. I do appreciate your comments greatly. All the very best!

Moneycop, indeed I do think we need some general rules but I would certainly give-up on the endless multitude of laws. There are many laws that are useless and people do not abide by them so, why have them to begin with?

Thank you for your time. Cheers!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Petra, your comment made me think about things (which is great in my opinion).

If you look at the first comment, that of Mr. Lone77star, he wrote that: "Judging what someone does is not bad, but judging the person who does it may well be evil, because it supports the source of evil." - I think I sort of agree with this statement.

That opinion seems to be different than the one you posted: "In the other hand, to decide that someone’s else decisions are “right” or “wrong” (even if you think you know the details that prompted them to do this or that) is an assumption that you know best, it is presumptuous – to say the least – and it is judging at its worst."

What do you think? (I am interested in debating this.)


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

So let’s debate, Happy.

My point is that putting a label of “good or bad” on decisions or actions made by others DOES imply a judgment of the person in question and you can’t separate the two, no matter how hard you try.


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Good food for thought. We all judge, whether we admit to it or not. It is human nature. I meet someone and I listen to them, all the while using my judgment to determine if this person is a) safe to be around b)someone I want to get to know or c) someone I will like. Judgement goes well beyond "good" and "evil" and has more to do with right and wrong -- that is right of wrong for me. Without judgement we would all be hapless dupes. It does not mean I place myself in a superior position and decide if the person is good or bad, but as to their acceptability into my private world, by my standards. This is a necessary function in anyone's life and one we could not life without.

There is nothing wrong in making a "judgement" on someone or something. How else would we decide on who to befriend, or what position to take on various issues.

Unfortunately, the connotation of "judge" at times has come to mean one sitting on high in a position of moral superiority. Yet, "use your own best judgement" is how we protect ourselves in life.

Good hub. Lynda


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Yes, I fully agree Petra, that: "putting a label of “good or bad” on decisions or actions made by others DOES imply a judgment of the person in question and you can’t separate the two, no matter how hard you try. "

I will try to look at this as a purely logical discussion and leave specific examples out.

By stating that: "putting a label of “good or bad” on decisions or actions made by others DOES imply a judgment", I think is a judgment in itself. Or that is how I am perceiving this anyway ... deciding that one is putting a label on someone, is in a way putting a label on the one who is judging to begin with.

It's like I can't get away from the judging thing whichever way I look at it.

The same thing happens to selfishness ... even when I do a good deed, which is done for no other reason than for the sake of doing good, I realize that I feel good about it and that in itself is a reward. Can't seem to get away from this either lol (not that I actually want to at this point).

Thank you for the conversation. I do appreciate it. Cheers.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"It does not mean I place myself in a superior position and decide if the person is good or bad, but as to their acceptability into my private world, by my standards. This is a necessary function in anyone's life and one we could not life without." - I think this is some very good insight Mrs. Lynda!

And I think your following statement is very true and it has lead most people to get very defensive about being judged: "Unfortunately, the connotation of "judge" at times has come to mean one sitting on high in a position of moral superiority".

I thank you very much for your comments. Price-less. Cheers and all the best!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada

I judge this to be a most insightful hub. ;) That is my opinion.

As you know I try to employ a technique in my thinking which allows me to always be open to new evidence. I use non-belief as a tool. I believe nothing at all.

I either know something to be a fact, or I do not. There is no reason to believe anything.

So how does that work exactly? As you point out we always have to make judgements. So how can one make judgments with believing anything?

It is really rather simple. While I believe nothing, I have a lot of opinions based on facts or evidence. A lot of decisions we make are based of a gamble. We bet the wether will hold out so we leave the umbrella at home. It's a bet so it no outcome need be believed to be the fact of the matter.

But you are correct when you say we all must judge all the time. So what do people mean when they say we must not judge?

Usually they mean we must not judge other people by our own standards. Russians love their kids too. Muslims want peace just like we do. Christians are often wonderful liberal people. So we can not judge a person on their ideas. But we can judge their actions and whether those actions are benevolent or dangerous.

I think we can not prejudge. That is the real issue. Judge others by what they do, not what you think they think. I think that is the real message.

Prejudge your shirt or it's desirability if you like. Who cares? We can always gamble when we don't have the facts.

That is often what judgment is. We make our best effort guess and go with it. That is all we can do.

When we say do not judge, we are obviously referring to other people not day to day guesses about things and events.

As you say above, Lone77star commented:"Judging what someone does is not bad, but judging the person who does it may well be evil, because it supports the source of evil."

I agree with that. I also agree that we can not judge other people's decisions most of the time because e do not know all the facts.

The thing is in the case of a murderer (and such a label is a judgment on the person, not just the act) society has the right to remove a threat to itself whether it understands the motives of the individual or not.

Even if we all agreed we do not have free will, a serial killer in our midst, whether they have free will or not is a threat which we have an inalienable right to remove.

We do not need to judge the person in such a case. But we do label those people. We label pedophiles as well. No matter their motive we can not tolerate them in our society. We judge them to be a danger. Rightly so.

But these are clear dangers to us. We can always judge harm when it is clear harm. Where Lone77star is right is that if we label a person evil for homosexuality or some other type of behavior which is does no physical harm to those who are not homosexual, to judge those people as being evil, is promoting evil.

Ok. Better stop here before I take up all your comment allotment. lol.. It's an interesting subject. Don't judge me too harshly. ;)


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

' Everyone should be a victim before stepping in shoes of a judge'...your perception always slightly 'brightens up' once you see 'the other side'....nothing is anymore 'black and white'....


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

I found your point of view interesting food for thought. I guess I never took the time to look at it that way. Thanks! It was interesting.


terryk99 5 years ago

This is always a sticky topic, and not judging at all seems to put people at a disadvantage. After all, you gotta look before you leap . . . I have started using the word "assess" for my critical thought on a person or situation. It carries a little less baggage. Thanks for being honest about your self-preservation!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Mr. O'Brian, your statement that: "A lot of decisions we make are based of a gamble", made me think of Pascal's Wager.

I am not much of a gambler but I do see your point.

We bet the wether will hold out so we leave the umbrella at home. It's a bet so it no outcome need be believed to be the fact of the matter." - What if weather can be controlled (to a certain extent of course) through prayer? I am humble towards Zamolxis and Gebeleizis. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gebeleizis)

To get back "on-track" so to speak, I do agree with you saying that: "I think we can not prejudge." - A very important statement in my opinion. And I also think that you are correct in saying that: "we can not judge other people's decisions most of the time because e do not know all the facts".

I do try not to judge harshly, or with haste. It is indeed a difficult topic. I do thank you for the comment left. All the very best!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

I agree with you Beata Stasak, it does help to see that each issue can be viewed from different perspectives. Thank you for your insightful comment.

Mrs. Tlpoague, I am glad you found this piece of writing interesting. This is an issue which I have thought about for quite a while and writing about it gave me a chance to see what other people think on this as well. Your comment and time is appreciated - thank you.

lol "After all, you gotta look before you leap" - I like that. Very well put in my opinion. Thank you for dropping by and for sharing your thoughts Terryk99. Cheers!


rmichaelf profile image

rmichaelf 5 years ago from North Central West Virginia, where the green grass grows...

Mr. Happy,

For one who consistantly claims how little he knows... I sure am enlightened by so much of what you say! You are a thoughtful man.

I was agreeing strongly as I read your hub. I think I object to the idea of Judging from the points brought up about one being superior, morally or otherwise...

I thought Lone77star's comment really thoughtful... Slarty's comment was echoing loudly my own thoughts on the subject but so much better expressed (I thought for me this morning... and probably most of my mornings!)...I have strong arguements against Petra's remarks about not being able to seperate the person from the action (a function of my Eastern teachings mainly I think)

It is like I say to some of my fundamentalist Southern Baptist relations when we get into discusions politic or religious... "Well, I really have no beliefs I guess. (Smiling lovingly...) but I have a bunch of really interesting ideas!"

Namaste my brother,

Mike


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Thank you for your comment Mr. Mike. I am glad people such as you took the time to let me know of their opinions.

lol I like your statement: "Well, I really have no beliefs I guess. (Smiling lovingly...) but I have a bunch of really interesting ideas!"

Wise words, cheers!


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

You are not afraid to bare all and ask those questions that others might be reluctant to ask. I admire that in you.

It is not that judgement is good or bad but by doing it we must pay a price. The price of judgement is separation. We all pay it because we all judge. However with practice we can learn to do it less and in doing so we achieve "oneness". In India it is called Yoga.

I achieve it perfectly when I am in session with a client. I have written a hub about how I do that and it allows me to treat anyone who comes to me regardless of what they have done or failed to do. In my normal everyday life I am more often judgemental than not but I am getting better.

You said: "Nonetheless, when I make a judgment, I make a choice".

I am not so sure about that. How much choice do you have to be influenced at the subconscious level by everything that has ever happened to you. The choice you say you have is dependent on this influence and is not withing your conscious control.

Slarty says in his comment above: "I believe nothing at all".

If that were the case he would not exist as he is. Slarty seems to believe that his life and all his experiences have nothing to do with his belief system and I find that difficult comprehend.

Dealing with the subconscious on such a regular basis makes me aware of how much we are unconscious of and it is the subconscious forces at play that have more to do with our lives than anything we are consciously aware of.

The ego cannot be undone as long as we continue to believe in illusions and one such illusion is the belief that we can know truth through thinking and the intellect.

Slarty makes some very fine points in his hubs which I see as describing a way to correct perception so that the split mind can be healed. He advocates a return to living an honourable life in love and service and that is the way of the warrior and the path to the next step. But thinking will only get you so far.

Thank you for writing this hub and as you can see from the comments you have received you have touched on something that appeals to people because of how relevant it is in our lives right now.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Mr. Spirit Whisperer,

I pray Zamolxis and Wakan Tanka can guide my words, at least in that I will be as clear as possible in elaborating my thoughts. May the Sylphs also help now!

If "The price of judgement is separation" then, the price of unity is this three-dimensional perspective. Are you ready for that exchange?

"How much choice do you have to be influenced at the subconscious level by everything that has ever happened to you. The choice you say you have is dependent on this influence and is not withing your conscious control." - The subconscious becomes the conscious through its "influence", as you put it. As it becomes consciousness, it can be judged.

"Slarty says in his comment above: "I believe nothing at all"." - I think Mr. O'Brian meant that he is wary of believing things or he is inclined to question the validity of things. I am sure he could explain it better though.

"Dealing with the subconscious on such a regular basis makes me aware of how much we are unconscious of" - this is a comparative and quantitative statement which in my opinion, you could not have made without your ego.

"The ego cannot be undone ..." - What do you mean by "undone"?

"one such illusion is the belief that we can know truth through thinking and the intellect" - Through thinking and intellect, we get to know some truths - not all truths yes but even small things count in my opinion.

I thank the Spirit World for all the help it gives me and I thank you for the conversation. All the very best!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

This is a facinating conversation. Many cerebral comments on the personal aspects of judging. But what about the issue of judging when it comes to your profession?

I was a reporter and editor in newspapers. I made judgements constantly. Which is more important, the school board meeting or the city council? Do I report what the citizen stands up and says at the meeting or do I report just the action taken by the board or council? Do I run the story on the front page or page 8? Which candidate's quote do I put in my lede paragraph and which has to come second? The mayor said the most outlandish thing to me in private then asked me to keep it off the record. Do I?

Judgement is not always an option. Sometimes it's a requirement. Where is anyone's wisdom there?


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Judging when it comes to a profession is certainly a difficult matter in my opinion, Mrs. Katleen. Especially when one's judgement has a major impact on others. Like judges for example: at times, they hold other people's lives in their hands.

And even in your case, as an editor You would be somewhat responsible for the well-doing of your publication. At the same time your judgement regarding the pieces of writing for your publication could affect a writer's life in many ways as well.

It is my opinion that we judge constantly. As soon as we perceive we judge or perhaps we judge through our perception. Either way, I still see no way in staying away from judging. Thus, I would strongly advise towards the idea of judging carefully, with understanding, compassion and love.

Thank You for the conversation. I appreciate it! Cheers.


Brooke 4 years ago

I think the same things!


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

Greetings Brook, I am glad I am not alone here. Haha!! Cheers and all the best!


HattieMattieMae profile image

HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

ha ha...hmm...well i just went through this myself. But i guess I don't use the word judgment in that sense. I think i use contemplation, or evaluate my choices. Balancing my choices, or discovering new thoughts, but I never looked at from your definition. Perhaps just our vocabulary we use. I usually relate judgement to others scolding, or condemning, and fault finding. Well this is the thing I have learned no good to judge myself but be more loving, kind, and forgiving. Understanding I will always be imperfect, and make mistakes. That it is okay to some degree to make mistakes and fail. It is part of learning. So judging to me is being harsh on someone else or myself and becomes harmful instead of harmless interaction.


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 4 years ago from Toronto, Canada Author

"I guess I don't use the word judgment in that sense" - I think this is where a lot of misunderstanding in Life appears from: we often use the same words but the same words may have a different meaning for different people.

Lots to think about on this one. Thank You for taking the time to read and leave a comment.

All the best!

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