“Don’t judge me!” shouted to obese mother of what I estimated to be a dozen ill-mannered proto juvenile delinquents. Her charming tats aside, she otherwise was a model of incivility, bordering disheveled as she stashed a poorly covered ’40 into a bag while fishing for her EBT card. Had she been talking to me I would have politely informed her that, yes, I’ll judge her and everyone else.
I damn well hope people judge me as well.
This modern disinclination to judge is as antithetical to normal social functioning as is socialism, and perhaps as evil. Relying on quaint tools, I see the dictionary defines judge as “to form an opinion of; decide upon critically.” In civilizations, it is the most fundamental aspect of reasoned human interaction – one honed to keep basic safety and social order. Judgment is how we tell good from evil, right from wrong, sane from congress. To shun judgment is to shun society.
Which the obese welfare mom had apparently done ages ago.
In the absence of judgment, all is equal, which it isn’t. This is the motivation of many homo sapiens who demand others not judge them. They seek equality without effort, to assuage the angst of self-inflicted inadequacy. Judgment, and its first cousin shame, were devised as tools for continuing societal improvement. Hence, the moment a society abandons judgment and forsakes shame, it ceases to grow and likely slides into animalism.
Kinda like the dozen little varmints whelped by the shame-adverse beer broad mentioned above.
The social question then isn’t to judge or not to judge – doing so is a natural, normal and beneficial function of thinking people. The question is what to judge. Moralizing is fine providing that piety is well placed. Judging parenting skills is typically off limits given the wide spread of human variability and circumstance. Yet in some instances, such as the “father” who branded his seven year old with a gang tattoo, parental second-guessing is apropos. Limp-wristed metro males may decry corporal punishment and active-duty corporals might snicker at “time outs.” Both are valid forms of judgment in purist of molding better citizens.
Gentlemen, judge at will.
Most important to humanity is judging politicians and other criminals, and again it is a question of what is being evaluated. You can judge a candidate for not releasing decades of tax records, but in the absence of criminality (beyond campaigning) there is little cause or benefit since it remains a private matter between him and the IRS. You can and should judge an office holder for how they tactically handle internal affairs and harshly judge them when they actively cover-up details of their mismanagement. Judging things that do not affect other people, such as a man’s sexual orientation or a woman’s ice cream addiction, are trivialities and say more about the judge than the judged. But passing sentence over the rearing future hoodlums or obstructing investigations is everyman’s job. Failing that duty fails society.
Matthew was half right. “Judge not, that ye be not judged” really means “dish it out son, but be ready to take it too.”