Organized Judgement

We live in a society where judgement is an institutionalized norm. Even though we read books that say we should leave judgement up to whichever divine entity we worship, we are totally okay with apps such as Tinder or cultural phenomena like Facebook.  We are thrilled, even, when watching programs such as X-factor, the Voice or So you think you can dance. They are programs where we are stimulated to judge. It feels rewarding.

Consider the job interview structure. It is a generally accepted fact that the choice if you’re in or out is made within the first few seconds after meeting. Still, we all look upon it as an adequate way to determine who is going to work and who is not. But if there are 100 working hours for two candidates, why don’t we divide them 50-50? Because one of them is better at promoting himself? We believe that by judging both, we make a wise selection. That’s also why we vote for politicians. The truth is: we are guessing in the dark. Judging just makes us feel in charge. But do we really need to?

In the Netherlands – a country that’s supposed to be developed and tolerant – the more pigment you have in your skin, the harder it is for you to get a good job. Darker people are more likely to be searched by the police and less likely to be accepted into classy bars or clubs. And yet we keep believing that our views help us separate the wheat from the chaff. What’s more, we want to be judged by others, equally blind, as the ‘good’ group. Why else do we dress up nicely, post duck-faced selfies online and correct our exteriors with surgery?

Even if a part of this behaviour has natural roots, these issues should be publically put into question. Whoever is hip today will be forgotten tomorrow. I wonder how aware people are how much we collectively praise judgement, yet at the same time carry the burden. Is that truly necessary? Could we change this in society? In ourselves? Would you?

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14 thoughts on “Organized Judgement”

  1. Great post, Gilles. I like your comment that judging just makes us feel in charge. A Buddhist monk told me that the first thing we do is to judge people to see if they are worthy of our time. But in reality, if we take the time, we discover that everyone has a story, everyone is interesting and worthy. But it can be hard to break habits.

    1. Thanks! Yes, we are limited, and we have to choose. I feel that breaking a habit is not hard, but building a new habit is harder. It takes dedication. Under today’s society’s pressure, that’s not always easy to find.

      1. I recently introduced self mixed herbal teas as a habit. I can recommend it : ). And smiling to strangers (even if they don’t smile back), but I started that one when I was eightteen.

      2. Yep Giles, I already do the pick your own tea and drink it (there’s some beautiful lemon verbenas growing at my friends’ place. Smiling at anyone is always good practise! And writing to strangers!!! haha 🙂

  2. Thank you and so true! Humanity likes to judge, yet if judged harshly then we fight it. Self-righteousness is one of our biggest challenges we face on our spiritual journey (in our life) and the more we expose it the better.

  3. Yes, figure out for yourself, “what is the difference between a “gut” instinct reaction and a prejudice?”
    My parents trained a high regard for intelligence. One of the first assumptions I had to challenge was that if someone wasn’t smarter than I was, they didn’t have anything to offer me.
    Love it when someone makes me aware of an assumption. So interesting when I find myself judging someone – it makes me want to get to know them better to see if my judgment was “correct” or merely a stupidly conditioned assumption.
    Many pearls lie there underneath assumptions…
    An interesting book I’ve read just lately was by Linda Tirado about the assumptions about being poor. “Hand to Mouth – LIving in Bootstrap America.”

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