- Thoughts for inspired living

June 17, 2009

Judgement Day

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:41 am

I was out walking yesterday and I was struck with the idea of how ineffective judgements are. I was looking for an upside to judgements and I couldn’t find any. If you own an ego, and who doesn’t, you judge.

It seems that judgements come in two parts – an assessment and then the addition of a moral value (good or bad, right or wrong).

The assessment has benefits; the moral value adds nothing but distance between you and another.

An effective assessment is fact based. “That man is talking to that woman at high volume and pointing his finger at her.” A judgement is adding to the facts. “Look at that Neanderthal idiot bullying that poor woman.”

“But he IS a chauvinistic pig if he’s acting like that,” you may say. My question is: What’s the benefit to you in making that judgement? Is it that you are right again? Notice that we have the same judgements over and over again.

Reminds me of a story . . . Years ago we drove on family trips from New England to New Jersey/Pennsylvania a couple of times a year. We would pass through New York City and listen to a certain New York City radio station. There was a DJ on the station that I derogatorily imitated aloud. About the 50th time we passed through, my wife said to me, “Must you always do that?” There I was sharing my judgement again. Of course, I wasn’t the only one. Back at home, my wife would hear a promo for the 11 O’clock news on TV and disparagingly imitate the way the newscaster said the word “eleven.” You could set your watch.

A judgement is a conditioned pattern of behavior. We weren’t born with any judgements, just the ability to learn how to judge. We also weren’t born with assessments, just the ability to learn to assess. I wonder if we can learn in this lifetime to separate the two.

Most judgements are made inside of your head for a private audience of one. The question you may want to ask, “What is the benefit to repeating it to myself over and over again?” You were intelligent enough to grasp the meaning the first time. The repetition of it keeps you in your head and reassures you are right. So what?

How likely are you to have a stellar interaction with someone you are judging? From my personal experience, the judging gets in the way of the communication. You have to work doubly hard to communicate with someone you are judging.

Judgement is a tool of separation. For example, if you have a judgement issued against you in court, you will be separated from some money. If you continually judge others, you will separate yourself from society. And now for the 500 pound gorilla . . . If you continue to judge yourself, you will be separated from ever getting to know you.

Most people don’t know themselves; they know their judgements of themselves. There is a huge difference.

Getting to know yourself is a process, and one of the steps is recognizing that judgements are standing in the way. That’s an assessment.

Begin assessing the behavior that you currently judge. Stick with the facts. One of the immediate side benefits is less guilt – the least useful emotion I can think of.

Effective assessors are like great artists; they know when the painting is done. It doesn’t need one more thing. If you go over the assessment border, you will land in the field of judgement. Stop after the assessment is made. It’s all the information you need to notice your behavior, so that you can remedy it. Judging keeps the behavior alive.

Start to recognize your judgements while they are happening. It’s the first step in separating you from your judgements. Every time you interrupt your judgements, you are one step closer to connection – with others and, most importantly, with yourself.

All the best,



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