Americans live in interesting times.
The most evolved society in history has overall, made an extra effort to be more patient, more tolerant, and to withhold judgment.
Wait, what? Withhold judgment?
We’re taught in schools and church not to judge others. Almost every day I hear someone use the phrase, “I’m not judging here” or “No judgment,” or “I don’t judge.” People make these declarations proudly as if not having opinions is somehow virtuous.
But there are many situations where judgment is not only advisable, it’s downright sensible.
In praise of judgement, especially the good kind
It’s true that pre-judgment or prejudice–is not a desirable character trait.
But thinking for yourself, it turns out, is a very useful life skill.
Watch this video, as I discuss this topic with a couple of very bright young women during one of my leadership keynotes in Biloxi, Mississippi.
You can use judgment to keep from doing dumb things. If one of your friends offers to give you a ride home after a party, you could get into the car or you could judge him to be drunk.
Let’s say you have a job that involves the hiring and firing of employees. To do a good job in that role, you’d certainly have to exercise good judgment when deciding who was a good fit on the team, right?
You can even make good decisions to stay safe.
Say you’re walking down a dark alley at night. At the end of the alley, you see a suspicious person lurking about. You could continue down the alley or you could pass judgment on that person and avoid possible trouble.
In fact, never judging is worse than always judging. Tweet This
You be the judge
Judgment is a personal decision.
But, even if you were to live your life by “never judging others,” you’d have to exist in a world where judgment is everywhere.
The United States judicial system is predicated on judging others. We live in a society where the top-rated television shows are about judging contestants who cook or sing or otherwise.
Wishing you more good judgement…