Being open-minded is overrated, and judgment is not a bad thing
I was subjected to a lot of religious indoctrination over the years, and one of the teachings that stood out was the one about not judging people. I’m not going to quote it here, because I can’t be bothered to go look up bible quotes, and even just reading them is triggering for me.
This isn’t even just a religious thing, I’ve had other people say similar stuff for different reasons. Like, if I have a strong opinion about something, someone would be like “Don’t judge so harshly! Be more open-minded! You’re limiting yourself by being too closed-minded! Try to see their point of view!”
When they’re talking about hitting kids being okay, I don’t care about their point of view. They are wrong, end of story. Does that make me judgmental? Sure! But that’s not a bad thing at all!
People are constantly judging things. To claim that anyone is ever completely open-minded is ridiculous. If you’re too open-minded, your brain will fall out. I’m pretty sure you don’t want that! Everyone perceives things through their own perspective, which filters the information. It’s literally impossible to take in all the information at once – it would be overwhelming.
Judgment, when working correctly, simply tells you what something is and whether or not it works for you. When people talk about “judgment” as a problem, what they’re really talking about is verbal abuse.
In the example above, I simply said that people who think hitting kids is okay are wrong. That’s judgment applied correctly. If I said that they’re stupid and awful, that’s a different story altogether – that’s part judgment, sure, but it’s also verbal abuse. That’s the part that confuses people when they’re talking about judgment.
The word ‘judgment’ is a synonym for ‘intelligence’ – if someone said you had poor judgment, how would you feel? That’s not a compliment, is it?
I’m very suspicious of settings where judgment is not allowed. Restricting people’s intelligence is something people do when they want to remain in control.
To summarize: being open-minded is overrated, and judgment is not a bad thing – it has value and purpose. Verbal abuse, on the other hand, is not useful.