"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."

Henry Ellis

September 24, 2007

Who am I to Judge Your Life

I have always tried to live by the title to this post. Who am I to judge your life, and for that matter who are you to judge mine. Judging the way I live my life, the way I was raised, what I believe in, religion, politics, I could go on and on but you get the gist. I believe there is a difference between an opinion and a judgement.. It sometimes may not feel that way though. We all have opinion's, and it is a free country and you should be able to voice them, hopefully in a respectable way.. What I don't believe is that you can be judgmental about how people live their lives. Again this is just my opinion.

The reason I have been thinking along these lines is my volunteer work and the choice my son made to join the Navy.

I am working with young teens and their newborns in my volunteer work. None of them are married, 2 are living at home, and 2 are living with their boyfriends. It would be unfair to them if I have already judged them by their circumstances. It wouldn't be helpful if I went in with a closed and judgemental mind. I am not in there shoes, I don't live where they live, I don't have their family life, how could I possibly judge something I have never experienced. Of course I have an opinion, but it is my opinion and I keep it to myself unless asked. What I do is use my experiences to help these young mothers get where they want to go. The only time I use judgement is in the health of both the mother and the child. Sometimes it is a very fine line...

The choice my son made to join the Navy is his choice, not mine. I find it very interesting how people judge him and his family now. Again who are you to judge a decision an individual makes for himself. You don't walk in his boots, think his thoughts, or understand his motives. I am his mother, why would you judge me based on a decision my adult son made.

Who are you to pass judgment?

5 comments:

A soldier's wife..... said...

Oh, that is a million dollar question Shelly....and one I ask many people in my life all the time..in fact one I asked a few of my peers lately....and sometimes it does not end well.

I think people actually come to the conclusion that their opinions actually matter in the grand scheme of things. I am not saying that there are not those in this world who's opinions I value, and value tremendously

Unsolicited opinions, on the other hand....from people who A. do not know me, B. may know me but not in the way they either think or relate to or C. know of me that use their own experience to set a parameter for my life and then justify their opinions of me....well those are the people I have, over time begun to shuck from my life and tell exactly how I feel about them, whether they like it or not. Once upon a time I would have either ignore it or give the answer of, well thank you for your opinion.....but now...I tell them in not so many nice words....to bugger off....

I'm sure there are people out there that will say that there are better ways to handle it, more politically correct ways, but I figure if they have the audacity to say some of the things they say, in the mean ways they say them....usually because of WHO they think they are, then they better be man OR WOMAN enough to get the answer I plan to give....

I think they think they are WHO THEY ARE TO JUDGE US because of some sort of miss given entitlement they have given themselves by some right....that they feel they are better then we are....and well, I am here, beginning my 5th decade in life to let it be known that in no uncertain terms....It just ain't gonna happen!!!

I gave up on the "How to Win Friends and Influence People" way of life, oh, about 45 minutes ago....

Stick to your convictions, to the way you are, not everyone is going to like who we are...I don't really care....so be proud, those that want to judge....let 'em...judgment of them will come one day...I figure I have to face myself and God at the end of each day and at the end of my life....I have to be true to myself....not them or their judgment of me, my family, how we choose to live our lives or the decisions we make....if they don't like it, I will promptly remind them to not let the door hit them in the ass on the way out!

Bag Blog said...

Judgement or opinion - that is a tough call. I find the most irritating opinions come from people who wait until you've already made a decision and acted upon it - they are usually people who don't know you well enough or care enough about you to give the opinion when it might actually be taken into consideration. Judgement implies a "turning the back" on someone or "no longer supporting" someone due to the decisions they make. Sometimes judgement is necessary. Example: if a teen mother keeps making poor choices for herself and her child, at some point, you have to say "stop it or I can no longer support you." Patience and understanding is needed in working with people, but sometimes, eventually, you may have to pass judgement. Of course, I am talking about people who are doing wrong and messing up their lives - not someone who has chosen a different lifestyle or job.

Buck Pennington said...

ASW: My ex-mom-in-law (a very wise woman) once told me she found her 50s to be the "most liberating" time of her life, ever, in the sense she felt she wasn't obligated to tolerate fools any longer. Which sounds exactly like the reasons you've articulated.

As for opinions... I think Lou hit it on the head: There's a WORLD of difference between opinions you ASK for and those that are unsolicited. And the latter usually p!ss you off... either intentionally or unintentionally.

Shelly said...

I think you guys are all right on the unsolicited opinions.

ASW, I should of had you write the post, you made my point better then I did. Thanks

Bag Blog,
The whole judgment issue has been difficult with my volunteer work, I have to depend on my professional judgment and keep my opinions to myself...

Buck,
I guess I have been pissed off lately due to the unsolicited opinions. I am taking a chapter out of ASW's and tell them to bugger off. I/m in my 40's I qualify...

A soldier's wife..... said...

Yeah, um...Buck starting my 5th decade, I'm hitting 40.....don't make me skip that 10 years...I'm old enough...I'd like your ex-MIL by the way!!! :D

I do an enormous amount of volunteer work, have so for over 20 years...but I also have strong opinions that I am entitled to....and while I do take the right way of expressing them in public with people most of the time, when stupidity enters the rhelm....I drop the politically correct way of dealing with them.

It's a fair trade, if I have to deal with them, they have to deal with me.....=)