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Judging Others

Becoming less judgmental will give you a greater sense of calmness in your daily activity. It will free up your time and your energy.
Karl Palachuk

Karl W. Palachuk
October 14, 2002


There is a need to balance judgment and non-judgment.  Judgment is the evaluation of whether things are good or bad, right or wrong, helpful or harmful, just or unjust.  And judgment itself is a powerful force that must be used with care.

Sometimes judgment is good and necessary.  We evaluate people to determine whether they will make good employees; we evaluate behavior in order to follow the correct path; we evaluate politicians to determine who will lead our government.  Without judgment there is no “moral compass” with which to evaluate the world.

If we seek “the good” then we require a tool to determine the good.  Careful, well thought-out, deliberate judgment will make us better people and make our society a better place.

Judgment can also be destructive.  Gossip and “judgmental” comments only serve to make others look bad.  They hurt the gossip as well.  And in our personal lives, we sometimes tend to spend all day passing judgment on everyone and everything.

Even if these judgments are unspoken, they have a powerful affect on us.  They steal our energy.  They fill us with negativity and leave no room for positive attitudes.  Judging everything steals our time and our “free thoughts.”

When you have a spare minute in the day, your mind should wander to your loved ones, your goals, your (positive) future.  It should not dwell on how much make-up the waitress is wearing or whether the salesman needs to lose weight.

So judgment can be good or bad.  Of course this means we need to spend some time defining for ourselves which is which.  When should I judge things and when should I not?  Our society as a whole has the same dilemma.  But, whereas people tend to be too judgmental, American society tends not to be judgmental enough.

Our extremely-democratic society tends toward the view that we, as a society, should not judge right and wrong.  Everything’s okay.  And as a result we have “moral decay” and we complain about it.

Radio advice talk shows succeed because they take a stand.  They proclaim a clear message:  This is right; that is wrong.  Whether they’re right or wrong, they are consistent and provide the moral compass our society craves and yet somehow refuses to support.

You may be the type of person who takes on society and fights for a clearer sense of right and wrong.  But you better be prepared for a major battle.  Most of us won’t take on the battle to bring good moral judgment to society.  For most of us, the challenge is big enough within ourselves.

Becoming less judgmental will give you a greater sense of calmness in your daily activity.  It will free up your time and your energy.

Do It Now.  Pledge to yourself to be less judgmental.  Start today.  Notice when you are judging others and note whether it is useful to your personal happiness and success.  Don’t forget that there is plenty of positive judging.  After all, you want to buy the “right” suit and hire the best employee and paint your house an attractive color.  These decisions, if made correctly, will make you happier in the long run.

But don’t waste your energy on whether a client has bad hair or your neighbor has an ugly dog.  After you get in the habit of judging your judgments, you can work on the habit of only passing judgment on things that matter and on things that increase the positive energy in your life.

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