Recently, I find myself pondering this question. Am I judgmental? How do I begin to answer this thought provoking question? Well, honestly, I suppose, but where do I even begin?
Understanding what being judgmental means
According to the Urban Dictionary, being judgmental means:
1.)A way of making ones self feel better, by hurting others. Usually caused by closed mindedness, and a lack of manners.
2.)Feeling the right to judge, and doing so.
I didn’t just stop there. I looked to other sources of information too. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “too quick to criticize people” & “feeling morally superior”.
OK, the above definitely does not describe me. I consider myself to be extremely open minded, open to new thoughts and ideas. I certainly don’t feel superior to anyone and I consider myself to be a gentleman most of the time. But! Yes, there is a but. I do frown upon individuals who display the above characteristics which then begs the question. What does this say about me? In that is the paradox.
Does this mean I am opinionated? I know I am, but who isn’t? We all have our views and ideas about most subjects, from how we dress to politics to religious ideals. Heck, we may even have an opinion on how people speak and the accents they use.
A fine line
I guess it’s natural to be opinionated but when one tries to impose their ideals onto others by criticizing, or worse, seeking to punish those who don’t conform, that’s where the distinction lies between simply having an opinion and being outright judgmental.
The moral high-ground? Is there such a thing?
I find, more often than not on my social media (I have quite a diverse group of Facebook friends) that some individuals feel that being religious, and this is not a swipe any any particular religion, feel that they have a right to be judgmental against those who don’t conform to their beliefs. Is this justified? Is there such a thing as a moral high-ground?
By the same token, I have many friends who promote their religion on my social media without being all holier-than-thou and I respect them for it.
I know that I used to, at a time, think poorly about people who didn’t write and speak using proper grammar, but in time and from all my travels, interacting with people from so many different cultures, I have come to realise that in the real world, understanding my fellow human being is more important than speaking the Queen’s English.
I know now that looking down on those who didn’t utilise proper grammar and pronunciation was wrong of me.
And so my journey continues in an open minded manner, accepting that I live in a very diverse world filled with all sorts of people whom I have no right to judge.
I believe in “live and let live” and “each to his own” as long as those actions don’t harm the next person.