When we go about our day, making a judgement at every turn, isn’t it easy to think we should have an opinion on everything? We are constantly making decisions which require an opinion to lead to a judgement. We judge how much time we need for our tasks of the day, how many layers of clothing we need for the temperature outside, how much distance is safe behind the car in front of us on the road, what we should plan for dinner tonight, where should we go on vacation this year, who we should vote for in the next election. Decision, opinion, judgement. It’s a way of life and quite necessary much of the time. If you’re a caregiver, you’re often making important judgements on behalf of another who is in your care.
We acquire confidence in judging as we take on responsibility in life. We judge our own actions and those of others. We need to make judgements in our daily work. It seems we’re expected to have an opinion about everything that goes on in the world, too! About everything we hear in the news 24/7.
May I suggest that the judgement maker in us can use a break. We can choose to not have an opinion, occasionally. It’s not always necessary to make judgment on every subject. In fact, no opinion can feel wonderfully liberating. How on earth am I supposed to have an opinion on what someone in the news, you or anyone else should do as you conduct your daily life? I’m not you. It’s not my business. No more than I can judge if the European Union was a good idea, or not, for most Europeans. The answer lies with the individual who is directly involved. Its their business not mine. And I have no idea how to fix global warming, excuse me, climate change.
People expect others to have an opinion, they expect to be judged on their own opinions and love to argue them. They feel like others will think they’re not informed if they don’t have an opinion and can’t make a judgement off the top of their head on every topic so they can post it on Facebook. Or, chime in on Twitter. You must have an opinion, society says. Decide and judge or be judged as less!
When I was a young wife & mother and my whole focus and pleasure was on homemaking and family, I had little interest in what was going on in the broader world of national and international affairs. The six o’clock news was enough for me. This was before the Internet and reading magazines and newspapers was how people kept up. I was behind the times and reminded of it when around people who were discussing important current topics. I couldn’t participate because I had no opinion and no points to argue. I just listened and felt boring. I was judging myself.
Later, I went to college, became an avid reader of history, ran my own business, and became obsessed with the politics of the day. I eventually had way too many opinions on way too many subjects. Caught in the vicious circle of unconscious living, my ability to judge was stunning. And who was I impressing? Only myself, I think. More than likely, I prevented others from feeling free to express their opinions to me, if they differed. A great way to close off communication.
Things come full circle! It has taken a BIT of work to get to a place where I can say, “I don’t have an opinion on that.” It feels great, really. Jaws sometimes drop. Age is a great teacher and liberator.
I wish you all the freedom to be who you really are and the grace to allow others to be who they are WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. Love and understanding allows others to be comfortable expressing themselves honestly. What a wonderful gift to give and receive.