Updated: Apr 5
By definition, judgement can mean:
The ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions.
"an error of judgement"
The forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind
“Our judgement as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence”
By definition, opinion can mean:
A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
"that, in my opinion, is right"
A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
Whilst there are other ways of defining the meanings of both judgement and opinion, the selection I have chosen above resonate the most with the basis of this post.
We’ve all heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. In fact, there are a multitude of quotes and phrases based on not judging a person. But, how often do we actually put it into practice?
Stereotypically, when we judge a person, we are ultimately defining who we are as a person rather than seeing the person as they are in their truest form. Our minds subconsciously derive a fixed conclusion based on an individual’s behaviour or appearance, which can often be negative in order to make ourselves feel superior.
There is no doubt that at some point in our lives, we have all been guilty of judging someone by the way in which they conduct themselves. Whether we know them or not, it is important to remember that we can never fully know the reasoning behind their actions, simply because we are not that person. Only the individual themselves can fully understand what they have been through or are going through. There’s a story behind every person. There’s a reason why they are the way they are. And not one person has the right to judge another based on what they look like or what they believe.
On the other hand, it is often our intuition; our first reaction to someone that will guide our opinion. The more we learn about or be in the presence of someone, the more likely we will be able to form a solid opinion based on that focused intention of openly interpreting the information given to us. Unlike judgement, this opinion can constantly change over time.
Now, let’s not get the two mixed up; although the definitions for judgement and opinion are similar, in context they can be construed very differently!
So, to put it in simple terms: When you have an opinion, you just have an opinion. When you judge someone, you treat them based on that opinion.
The best way we can grow and evolve as human beings is by being mindful of our thoughts and actions.
Don’t prematurely title anyone into a stereotypical category, don’t give unsolicited advice and don’t be burdened by your past or present situation – life is constantly changing!
Do focus inwards and stay open minded