Judging

Consider this page to be perpetually incomplete. Perhaps there is just an outline here waiting to be fleshed out. There’s always more to add, but it was lasted updated on: [8/5/2020]

Dare to be judged!

The phrase “don’t judge” bothers me.

“To judge” is to perform an evaluation. There are three kinds of results (or judgments):

  1. Approval
  2. Disapproval
  3. Suspension of judgment (can also be called nonjudgment)

I think they’re all pretty self-explanatory, but the third type of result needs more clarification. You suspend judgment when you don’t have the necessary facts for either approval or disapproval; this doesn’t mean you get to hang out in limbo forever. Different issues will require varying levels of speed.

You also suspend judgment in practice when neither approval or disapproval is appropriate, because the thing in front of you isn’t that kind of problem.

Say you friend prefers chocolate and you prefer vanilla. You can be jokingly serious about disapproving of their flavor preference, but it doesn’t actually matter.

Or, say a friend has experienced a tragedy, or needs help to work through an emotion. Maybe they accidentally made a mistake, and they’re agonizing about how to properly remedy it. In these kinds of situations (and many others in this life), it’s easy to err, especially if you’re approaching a different kind of problem for the first time. Judgment should be held off until remedies have been made and matters concluded.

This brings me back to “don’t judge.” I hear it often when people do not want to be subject to disapproval even when they know what they’re doing is wrong, or they are too embarrassed to stand up and defend their true preference (which could be fine!). They say “don’t judge,” but they mean “don’t disapprove.” What I say: dare to be judged!

(There is another “don’t judge” that means “be nonjudgmental,” which can obviously be OK. Context is key.)

Something I’ll write more about later: proper judgment requires generosity and grace.

Judging & Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a big topic, and it’s intertwined with the idea of trust and apology. I will address it all eventually. Here are some preliminary thoughts:

  • I don’t think that forgiveness means forgetting.
  • Traditional forgiveness often looks like one person begging or demanding that their offence be forgotten because they apologized. And the injured party feels pressure to formally absolve them in this circumstance. This is bonkers, and there is a better way.
  • Actions, not words.
  • If I die, I don’t want a eulogy. One of my friends to act as my Speaker for the Dead.