1. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion
2. the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind
As humans we need to judge to a degree. It helps us to know if we are in a dangerous situation or around people that may affect our mental state or well being. It can be used to better our selves and those around us. It can be used to save our lives. It has many useful purposes. But when do we take it too far?
We all have a past and we have all done things that others may not approve of, but just because they don’t approve doesn’t mean it wasn’t right for you at the time.
For instance, we may pass judgment on someone who uses drugs. But we have no idea what brought them there and what it’s like to be them.
People perceive situations as their instincts tell them to and they internalize it.
Let’s say we have siblings of the same gender and close in age. They grew up in an abusive environment. A parent is screaming and yelling at them about what horrible children they are. One can perceive and internalize this and agree with the parent believing they are useless and worthless and they grow up to be a drug addict. The other can perceive and internalize this and completely disagree with this parent and believe that the parent is the one who is useless and worthless because of this behavior and they grow up to be a human rights attorney for abused and neglected children.
Does the drug addict deserve to be condemned and the attorney praised? Absolutely not!
Some people need permission to be okay. Some people need to actually learn how to perceive things in a healthy, non-destructive way.
Judgment comes from a place of fear, fear of the unknown, sometimes healthy, sometimes not. It’s good to remember that no one is better than or less than you, they have just come from a different place and they are surviving the best they know how. Judgment is used to separate, this is what keeps us from compassion.