Judy rocks. She’s a judge and she’s smart and she won’t fall for the whole pissing on her leg and telling her it’s raining crap. She gets to judge people everyday but she doesn’t do it blindly. She lets the people tell their stories, she listens to all the sides and she looks at evidence. And then she judges the hell out of you – if you owe for the damages to your friend’s car whilst driving like an idiot, if you’ve got a kid you haven’t paid out for and if you just keep on clocking up the credit card bills in the midst of all of this well then, Miss Judy is going to be refreshingly, brutally and yet necessarily judgemental all over your ass. And rightly so. She gets paid to do all that and it’s good to know that there are some jobs out there that capitalise on this hard wired and infinitely human tendency to judge. But not many. Most of us are not paid to do this.
Most of us would like to believe that we are the non-judgemental types. That we never judge a book by it’s cover or a person by their appearance, accent or level of education. Yeah…I call bullshit on that. We all judge all the time, judging is such an embedded, in built tendency of human nature that we practically do it subconsciously, not even realising until after the fact. I’m judging WordPress right now for underlining in red all those words it finds offensive simply because I haven’t spelled them the American way. WordPress is judging me for being a hopeless American speller. It’s an endless cycle. We need to think more like this – I’m human – therefore I judge. You can claim to be a Gandhi, Dalai Llama, Mother Theresa type as much as you want but I’m telling you now – they certainly judged and you judge. Accept it, don’t denigrate it and move on.
The key here is adding a time frame. It’s those instantaneous, on the spot judgemental moments that are the ones we should try and avoid. I know I judge but I’ve decided I’m okay with that as long as I have taken my time over it. I’m not going to judge a person based on a five minute conversation with them. I’m not going to make assumptions just because I’m wondering if they actually know what the inside of a washing machine looks like. Clothes do not maketh the man, woman or teenage boy who thinks his underwear should clearly be outerwear. Wondering is not the same as judging.
I’ve decided if I’m going to be one of these flawed human beings (like there is a choice) then I am going to judge only after a certain amount of time being spent with this person. Then and only then will I judge this person. If after say several interactions of varying lengths I’ve discovered that this person thinks Tasmania is a whole ‘nother country, that buffalo wings are made out of buffalo and that Australia is full and anyone trying to emigrate here should just fuck off well…then I am going to judge you. If you think that driving your toxic orange coloured commodore ute down the freeway at a hundred and twenty with your clearly terrified black and tan kelpie dog relegated to the back of the ute tray NOT TIED IN is a good idea well then I’m going to make a judgement and take your plate number and ring the RSPCA because if that’s what you do in public well who knows what happens to those poor animals at home.
It’s those split second, instantaneous judgements that are the ruin of us all. The ones where you really have no information, you’ve not even really considered the possibilities and in fact you’re simply spousing off what your Daddy told you, or what your best mate down the pub told you, or that guy or girl at work that you wish you were because they got promoted and totally seem to have their shit together – those are the judgements that are gonna hurt people, places and things. So all I’m asking is that people take more time, do some research, get the real facts and listen to all the sides before just judging a person or a place or a thing. I’ve researched sugar free cola – and I am judging the hell out of that stuff (currently my tastebuds revolt against all forms of sugar free Coke but love Pepsi Max – however one thing I have learnt is that my tastebuds are fickle characters and one day Pepsi Max will taste like drain cleaner and Coke Zero will be all the rage again – it’s just a thing). I’ve tried olives – in various presentations and nothing is going to convince me that olives are a food humans should consume. I’ve read a Paris Hilton interview or two, I followed that short lived reality show she was on with Nicole Ritchie for a couple episodes and I’m judging Paris – she’s not classy. I guess we can’t all be.
So revel in your inherent need to judge, don’t deny one of the basic human traits that we all have, just be sure to take your time on it. Maybe don’t suggest to the frazzled Mum schlepping around Toys R Us with a toddler’s training wheel bike stuffed into a trolley two sizes too small trying to find her missing toddler who is currently exercising her democratic right to ignore any and all instructions to come here right now that “She should keep an eye on her daughter” – that is not only an unwelcome suggestion but a poor judgement on the potential for a swift and violent response. I like to ponder the kind of day frazzled looking people have had BEFORE I consider saying anything to them. It seems to avoid all the unnecessary shrieking and screaming and showers of infuriated spittle. That’s stuff you want to keep away from – infuriated spittle.