Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The one where she talks about Judgy McJudgerpants

Judgment. It's a word that almost always brings up the pejorative. The person who barely glances at the cover, let alone the book. To be sure, we all judge and are judged every single day. We temper our actions based on what the neighbours will think. Used inappropriately, judgmental behaviour is a terrible thing. You need look no further than the Mommy Wars to see judgment gone terribly, terribly wrong - and be sure to check back for week's Ask the Host on Friday for an example of this!

But what about using your powers of judgment for good, not evil? When you see the dirty little kid, way too young to be by herself, playing on the street what about using your judgment knock on the door to check if mom is OK, rather than assuming she's a terrible mother? Maybe your colleague who doesn't put in the hours they used to is sick or going through some terrible personal stuff, not just slacking off. When you use your judgment to assume the best instead of the worst, you open yourself up to a whole new world. A compassionate one. One where most of the people are just doing the best they can with what they've got.

I'm not suggesting for a moment that you stop being wary in weird situations or pretending there's nothing wrong with the state of the world. I'm a dyed in the wool, big city born and bred cynic. I'm mostly willing to help my fellow human if I can, and I don't believe I'm THAT unique. Snap judgments are bad. There are people and circumstances that just suck. But sometimes... Sometimes you can use your better judgment to assume the best and everything turns out alright. If you're someone that doesn't, maybe you should try it some time.

This post is part of GBE2. Week #19 word prompt: Judgment. For more info,  click here.


Jo said...

Gotta love a glass half full kind a gal!

Angela Parson Myers said...

Thats why I try never to get angry when someone is mean to me the first time. If they do it again, I begin to get pissed, but I try to reserve real anger for repeated offences. It's paid off. I had a reputation at work for being even tempered--which made my husband laugh hysterically. People occasionally came to me and thanked me for not being angry when they popped off--and explained what had happened to upset them before they even encountered me that day.

Unknown said...

I tend to be a lot like that. My mind explores the "whys". There is a reason for anything. My daughter has had to wait at the bus stop with the class bully whom everyone hates. I advised her that perhaps she gets treated bad at home and is just taking it out on everyone else. Be friendly to her, and try not to judge her...because the craziest thing may happen and you just might make a friend. I take very seriously passing judgment on others because, 9 times out of 10, they could be passing judgment on me. G0d knows, I want them to be nice in their assessment. Wonderful post. I do believe you and I are on the same page.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, and I wholeheartedly agree. I think that most people (not all, but most) are doing the best that they can and if that's truly the case, then it is good enough. It would do us all good to look twice (and maybe three times) before assuming the worst.

Kim Reyes said...

I agree with you! nice blog

wiregems said...

Boy, this post really spoke to me. I have realized lately just how cranky and judgemental I've become and I don't like it! I must make a conscious effort to think in a positive way about the things that irritate me. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

The Host said...

Jo, unless it's a wine glass, in which case that sucker needs to be filled!

Angela, yup. I'll cop to being the one who has popped off at people for something little because something else was on my mind. Alas, I'm just a human, flaws and all.

Kathy, good for her. Retaliation would feel good in the moment, but longer term she'll feel better about herself for taking the high road.

Word Nerd, yup, I'm just hoping my kid(s) don't end up on the news for all the wrong reasons someday. Whatever it takes to get there...

Kim, thanks for stopping by!

Wiregems, it's easy to get in a grumpy rut and it happens to the best of us. As long you pull yourself out of it, it's all good.

Kyle said...

I try to apply this logic to things like crime and even murder. There is this notion out there that some people are "evil" (and by the same token some are naturally "good"). I tend to believe instead that no one is naturally all good or all evil. People *do things* that are bad, but there's usually a reason for those actions. Either they're angry, or mentally ill, or they're trying to achieve some objective through their actions, etc.

Almost every action, even murderous ones, can be traced back to one of these things. Instead of calling someone else "evil" to justify your own murderous response (which our government does regularly), I strongly believe that we should first determine as best we can what those underlying reasons might be. Even if we decide that locking up or killing those responsible for murderous actions is the right response, we still need to understand what caused the original action. Every time we've skipped that step, we have missed an opportunity to stop future "evil".