"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character"
Yes, a bit strange to start a story by a South African with a quote from the speech of one of the greatest anti-segregation fighters, rather than another anti-apartheid activist. There's more to this immortal speech than meets the eye.
Note that Dr Martin Luther King Jr. never states that it is wrong to judge, only wrong to judge on the basis of physical appearance. In fact, the content of one's character is to be judged.
Now, there seems to be a trend in our post-postmodern society and especially amongst the youth that it is wrong to judge anyone, no matter the act or behaviour of a particular individual. We pretty much grant them permission to do with their lives as they please, no matter the consequences (I'm not talking about the afterlife here). All you need is love...Not really true, is it? We could certainly do with more of that around, but in our imperfect world our idea of love is also disfigured.
Don't tell me you don't judge. It's part of your humanity. The way you were raised affects the way you view other people's deeds. You might be more respectful and appreciative of differences, but when that pregnant girl is smoking in that restaurant, you just wanna go klap her ten ways to Cape Town and back. Did I just say slap a woman? Excuse my political incorrectness. Okay, of course, some nitwit is gonna be like: "It's her body, she can do what she pleases with it, it's just a fetus, it can't make decisions or think properly and therefore has no rights". Yeah, well, on the basis of that argument some mentally disabled people should also have no rights. Anyhow, getting off topic here.
Even the most open-minded of individuals who claim that it is "evil" (if they believe in such a concept) to judge on any level and say we must permit all people to go about their lives as they wish, do judge, no matter how much they claim not to. Many of these people tend to be quite condescending, in fact. For this reason I don't really join debate societies, who seem to be out-of-touch with the average joe. I find this particularly true of many (but certainly, not all) atheists, who expect everybody to believe the way they do. Instead of judging, these people condemn. Honestly, if you believe there's no Hell, then why should it bother you that I do? Regardless if I believe Hell or not, according to you, it doesn't exist, therefore, it would have no consequence for me.
One of the dictionary definitions of "judgement" is as follows: the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
Therefore, the word actually embraces one of the most essential concepts that parents need to teach their children: critical thinking.
We have grown accustomed to a life where compliments and positive commentary is praised, yet we do not value critique. We judge it to be insulting, rather than an attempt to uplift and improve.
Don't get me wrong, I don't approve of many religious nuts who tend to tell people "Jy gaan in die Hel brand as jy nie op hou vloek nie!" If the motivation behind your believing in God is not to go to Hell, then I am very sorry for your misguided idea of faith.
But I do adore people who point out to me when I curse "Sies man, Hanno, daar blyk 'n bietjie onkruid in jou taaltuin te wees". Just the use of that phrase usually shows me their vocabulary far surpasses mine and I should consider using more tasteful language.
Yes, love and acceptance is certainly important. But do you truly love a naughty child if you continue to condone his/her unacceptable behaviour? Is it really in that child's best you interest?
Also, keep in mind, you might be that naughty child, I might be that naughty child. If we never open up to being judged, we deprive ourselves of a useful tool in improving on our own way of thinking.
I might best describe my feeling about judgement as the www.momsonedge.com blog (I know, slightly dodgy) does:
"Not passing judgment turns good and bad into moral equivalents. The distinction between the two states is removed and suddenly there is no line to cross; everything is acceptable. "
Just some food for thought. Please judge me.
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