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What it Truly Means to be Judgmental

Updated on October 30, 2013

All too often, in this period of time, we hear a lot of people yelling at others and fighting back for judging other people. It has become a social stigma that well meaning people refrain from what they see is true by telling it. It commonly happens in our generation when gays and lesbians are quote and quote being judged of who they are by a specific group i.e. Christians. While it may seem that Christians are one of the religious groups that are vocal against homosexuality, other religions such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism equally condemns homosexuality as well. Yet, it's Christians who are getting the bad rep for it. Other social issues such as abortion, pre marital sex, divorce, greed, and bullying are being addressed everyday by good well meaning people but yet are judged right away for being judgmental.

But let's delve into the word judgment. What does it truly mean? Is it something that should be put away from the minds of people or is it something where we should use it appropriately and accordingly without fear of angering others? First, let's look at the definition of judgment. According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, judgment is defined as: "an opinion or decision that is based on careful thought" or "the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought." Notice the two definitions ending with "careful thought". Being judgmental is about making an opinion based on what you have observed thoroughly. So if you have managed to see a lot of information about a thing or person, you just made a careful judgment, which in the end is your right to cast it out. Let's put a clear and better scenario. Let's say you're walking down a park and you see another person coming your way. That person stops and starts introducing himself or herself to you. You start observing the person by looking at the clothes, the facial looks, whatever that person is holding and it looks okay so far. Then you observe on how that person talks. The person starts talking in a loud tone in a place where it is mostly tranquil. This person keeps talking so loud that it sounds like he or she is angry at you. Not only that, that person is so loud the other people at the park starts getting annoyed. People around you starts telling that loud person that he or she is too loud and disturbing the area. But the person responds in a very rude way by probably saying "go to hell" or "mind your own business". Then he or she puts out a cigarette, lights it up, and starts smoking at you. You realize that this person just exhibited him or herself in a negative way. With that observation, you start saying to that person about how rude he or she is. You then say about how terrible the attitude has become that it has an effect at making people uncomfortable. And you witnessed everything. That kind of scenario can allow you to cast judgment on that person because that person exhibited everything that is negative to his or herself.

But if that same scenario came where you see that same person with the same clothes, same facial hair, and same stuff being held and right away you cast judgment based on the looks, then that's not right. Maybe this time the person may look different but he or she has a nice attitude. Casting bad judgment by just the way the person looks makes you mentally blind and can ultimately lead to isolation. What I mean by isolation is that when you cast bad judgment on a lot of people, sooner or later people will start leaving you and not wanting to be your friend at all. They might be afraid that if they have differences of opinion, style of living, and different interests, then your bad judgments will make them feel not welcomed in your presence and they might feel guilty.

The problem with society today, the way I observe it, is that people that live a different lifestyle from traditional ones starts to accuse others of judgment when being told about the way they live. It seems that the word "judgment" is being used as a weapon to defend the different lifestyle, and that is wrong also. If people have differences of opinion and they want to tell it, then it is their right to express it. Using the word judgment has been a tool to shut other people up. Unfortunately, well meaning people are starting to believe the lie that expressing your opinion is automatically judging. That is wrong too. To accuse people of opinion on being judgmental mentally robs their freedom to express. It also makes you a hypocrite because your acting the very same thing that you are against. People should start accepting other people's opinions. When they are accepted and challenged, then the debate comes. When it comes to debates, then knowledge is being shared freely between peoples. It's all a matter of willing to deliver the words in a kindly manner. In the end, judgment is kind of like a broad term because when you scale it down, it comes out as either bad judgment or good judgment. It's all a matter of who will have the tendency to act out one of them.


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