When It’s OK to Judge

I sat in judgement of myself
“Guilty!”, I proclaimed!
And the Goddess replied
“I see no guilt, except
What you hold inside.”
I sat there and wept
As I heard Her words
Perhaps for the very first time.
For, while I thought myself unworthy
In my imperfection,
She found me perfect
In my worthiness.

– original poem by NanLT

I recently took part in a conversation over at LinkedIn concerning judgement and judging others. In the midst of people proclaiming they strove never to judge anyone, mine was a lone voice. Actually, yes I do judge people and situations. All the time.

And I find nothing wrong in doing this. Yet another reason why I am not seeking enlightenment, if as this group said enlightened people never judge.

What do I mean though?

I made a decision some years ago that I would not allow negative people, people who had a negative impact on me, into my life. When I meet a person, I judge them on their words and their actions. Is this a good person? Is this someone I want in my life?

If the answer is no, I don’t let them in. Like a surgeon who cuts out poisoned or gangrenous tissue so the healthy body can survive, I will remove negative people from my own life.

None of this has anything to do with the colour of a person’s skin, who their parents or grandparents were, where they live, what, if anything, they worship, or the myriad of other concepts we associate with judgement. And everything to do with who the person is.

The above mentioned LinkedIn group? They decided I was exercising discernment. Another £5 word that means judging.

Pagan Blog Project 2012: J is for Judgement

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5 thoughts on “When It’s OK to Judge

  1. Great post. I prefer to use the term “judgement” for well… what is judgement. Discernment seems too much like playing with semantics to me – and also that I like to make sure people understand what I said the first time. Also, thanks for the link back.

  2. I think everybody judges- regardless of whether we recognize it or not. We all have some kind of bias or criteria for the people around us. It’s part of being human. Seems to me that recognizing that you’re judgemental in some fashion or another is way better than thinking yourself a saint.

    I say there is nothing wrong with being particular about the people you keep around. It only makes sense.

  3. One of my teachers differentiated between judging — making a decision about who someone is based on your own perceptions– and having an opinion — deciding that something about someone doesn’t work for you and that you don’t want to hang around. You don’t actually have to pass the judgement as to who or what someone definitively is in order to decide that for yourself that person isn’t a fit I think the judgment angle is when you put someone in a box or category and define them that way not only to yourself but to others.. I’ve really liked working with that idea of two levels. I can often see the God Self or the good aspects of someone I also choose not to be around so I try to keep my opinion to myself. (Sharon Salzburg in the Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness told a story from a Buddhist perspective that seemed to convey the same idea). You sound to me like you’re having an opinion about what suits you.

  4. Pingback: I’m Not Seeking Enlightenment (Revisited) | Writings of a Pagan Witch

  5. Pingback: Intolerance and Judgement in the Pagan Community | Writings of a Pagan Witch

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