The non-judgement critics have gone too far, just like all the other social justice movements. The judging of people specifically. We are so protected, overfed and bored that we feel we need to fight against judgement. True, we could improve upon the tendency to over-judge, such as trivial judgements (we aren’t talking about them in this post), but judgement is still very necessary. It’s often correct and has a value beyond apparent comprehension.
What is Judgement?
Judgement is thinking about or seeing something and placing a personal opinion on it. The opinion is a conclusion drawn about how the judger feels or thinks about the “thing” in question. Judgements happen almost instantly because we’re wired for it… and for a good reason.
We Need Judgement
Judging someone is frowned upon nowadays with everyone going nuts trying to be holier-than-thou. We all judge, including the self righteous types, whether we like to admit it or not. Have we forgot what a vital utility people-judging is?
Judging in Prehistoric Times
We were cavemen and women (tribe people) far longer than we have been “civilized”- by hundreds of thousands of years. That means the instincts and wiring our ancestors formed still controls us today. Back then, we had our tribe, our village. When a new group tried to integrate or feign friendship, it wasn’t safe. War amongst out-groups was common. New people or a new person could not be trusted and therefore, the judgement adaptation was developed.
I speculate that racism stems from that instinct not to trust outsiders. As far as its utility today, hate-racism is going too far, but do we need a modicum of pre-judgement, even if it is toward an out-group.
Filtering for Rentals
I unapologetically cast judgement all the time- my business lives and dies by it. When I have a vacancy for one of my rentals I have to judge the applicant by their appearance, attitude and the info they give me. The amount of deadbeats that have applied for my units in the past would scare most people out of the business. My harsh judgement kept them out of my houses and I avoided their no rent payments, potential damage, and upsetting of other tenants. Unfortunately, I didn’t judge a few of those deadbeats harsh enough, so they made it through my filtering process, causing damage, bringing drama and trying to live rent free. Unfortunately, this province is backward enough that it can be difficult to evict one of these awful tenants, so judging is imperative.
Filtering for Jobs
Human resource and employers vet people all the time. They judge by the resume, appearance, and interview, all for blatantly obvious reasons. Companies don’t want to get stuck with an employee that will steal, be lazy, or incompetent. Perhaps the new employee makes a mistake big enough that it jeopardizes the company. Sure they will get fired immediately, but the damage is already done. It is better to filter in the first place.
Filtering in Various Relationships
People are incredibly judgy in the dating world. Men do it, women do it. Most of it is absolutely necessary. We judge because we don’t want to spend time with someone dangerous or a psycho, for example. Judging who to trust expands further than dating though. We do it with friends, family and acquaintances. If someone asks to borrow $1000, the first instinct is to judge the hell out of them! Why? Because if that money needs to be returned eventually, it’s good to know that the borrower is an honourable, solid person.
Before one condemns another for being judgemental or racist or what-have-you, they must remember that they, too, judge all the time. The most likely difference is that the judgement maker is willing to be vocal about it, while the condemner suppresses it down and pretends they are above that.
I propose that judgement of others and out-groups should have plasticity. While it’s fair game to cast judgement on someone, that judgement of them is open to changes if they can prove themselves trustworthy. Until then, the judgement is not open for dispute.