Non-Judgement

Is it possible, or WISE, to lack judgement?

The statement often seen thrown around on the internet; “judgement is wrong!”… is, in fact, a judgement.

Anyone who says that judgement itself is wrong, is engaging in judgement, which means that they also are wrong in making that statement. They’re coming to a conclusion about something and forming an opinion on whether it is good or bad, then saying “this thing (judgement) is objectively WRONG.”

However, the ability to judge is neither right nor wrong. How judgement is applied or utilised can be flawed or unjust, which doesn’t negate the use of judgement so much as highlights the importance of judging well.

There are different ways of judging, such as misjudging, or hypocritically judging (like telling people how wrong it is to judge whilst judging them), or exercising sound judgement and judging fairly. Someone may also opt to suspend judgement until further information is available.

However, there is no such thing as non-judgement. That’s a misnomer.

You can’t tell people not to judge whether something is good or bad for them, nor can you tell people not to form an opinion about something which they have direct personal experience and knowledge of, or which potentially impacts their life. If someone neglects to judge a situation with a stranger on a deserted street at night, the consequences could be fatal.

Judgement is an essential aspect of continuing to live. If we couldn’t judge if the milk in the fridge is off, or if we should stop at an intersection while driving, or if a potential job would be risky, or a house we want to buy has structural issues, or someone asking you out on a date seems a bit too handsy… these things can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.

Just because you don’t LIKE someone’s opinion, or a judgement they have made, does not mean you have the right to prohibit them from forming an opinion about a topic, or using their judgement. You are not supreme ruler of the universe. Other people have sensory perception and brains to process information, whether you like it or not.

How different people reach certain opinions or judgements might be based on flawed reasoning or issues with available information. There is nothing wrong with challenging the process of how someone reached a conclusion and suggesting alternative perspectives or offering new information.

Telling someone to shut up and go away doesn’t help them or help you. It just alienates people and makes them suspect that you might be a judgmental hypocrite.

Instead, encourage others to explore all possibilities and use both deductive and inductive reasoning to form well-rounded opinions. Rather than shutting down conversation by saying “you’re wrong” try asking how they came to their conclusions and what informed their decision. Be more curious than antagonistic. You might both learn something important and meaningful in the process.

However, if their reasoning is lazy, poorly informed, and completely inflexible… you might just have to say you disagree and then walk away. Just because someone is entitled to their opinion, doesn’t mean you have to listen to it or condone it. You’re also entitled to your opinion, and to judge when it’s time to leave.

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