Be Wary of Unwarranted Judgment (April, 2018)

Another vice that stops us from growing and rising in spiritual and material realms is incessant judgment – judging others on behavior, qualities, achievements, etc. Even though building opinions and judgment based on the past experience and knowledge separates us human from most of the other species, the act of judgment becomes a liability and vice when it is done compulsively or imprudently. Apart from sapping energy in wasteful exertions, this vice causes strained relationships, fans ego, takes away from goals, degrades outlook, and steals peace of mind. This month’s kids assignment topic is Be Wary of Unwarranted Judgment.
Even though judgment is implied to be a vice in the day-to-day language, from the title of this month’s assignment, it should be clear that judgment in itself is not a bad quality. To the contrary, the ability to judge and discriminate between the right and wrong is what differentiates human from rest of the species. Human learn and grow with every experience.
So, if judgment is not a vice, why is non-judgment considered a coveted quality, or why is being judgmental abhorred?
When we use judgment to stay alert and assess situations, our judgment ensures our safety and well-being. That form of judgment is a well justified and desired quality, but when one starts to judge compulsively or imprudently, the faculty of judgment starts to become a vice with a laundry list of drawbacks.
While there are several ways to understand unsuitable judgment, we will focus on the two aspects: compulsive and imprudent judgment.
When we start to judge others or situations for the qualities that are of low substance, the quality of judgment starts to turn into a liability. For instance, if we judge others on how they speak, look, eat, dress, walk, sit, appear etc., we are being compulsive judgmental. If this vice is not checked in time, its frequency starts to increase – to a level that it becomes a nonstop obsession. Upon reaching this stage, the person becomes a non-stop complainer. And, when he is not complaining, he is either annoyed or irritated. People, including his close friends, start to avoid him. Staying in this stage for prolonged period also attracts all sort of mental and physical problems. It is not excessive to say that compulsive judgment is itself a disease.
Now, let’s take a look at what is imprudent judgment. When we pass judgment on someone, somewhere we believe we know better or the other person is somewhat inadequate. For instance, when we judge someone on his dress, it underscores our unstated belief that we have a better dressing sense than others. A harsh reality is that we are simply wrong in the majority of our such assessments: we are just not aware of the other person’s situation or qualified to assess the situation.
Another form of imprudent judgment is when we pass judgments without paying much attention. Because of our ego, we sometime judge in a hurry or don’t pay attention to our own biases. Almost everyone can recall experiences when the first impression formed of a person or situation turned out to be completely wrong. However frivolous it may sound, the price of such misjudgments in terms of opportunities and relationships is simply incomprehensible.
The act of judgment carried without proper qualification, in hurry, or with biases is called imprudent judgment.
Needless to say, we need to be wary of all forms of unwarranted judgment and get rid of it before it harms us.
In this month’s assignment, kids will define right and wrong judgment, expand on compulsive and imprudent judgment, and share real-life examples of some instances of unwarranted judgement and their impacts.
Looking forward to insightful views from our kids.
Harsh Mendiratta🙏