It is the nature of a human being to judge a person based on the impression they develop of them over a given period. When an individual classifies another as being good or bad, they may not necessarily be judgmental. According to Burns, one only passes the test of being a judgmental person when they enjoy making harsh judgments of other people on the basis of moral one-upmanship (110). Such individuals believe that they are always morally correct and others have flaws that need to be addressed. A judgmental person will always find flaws in others even when such a feeling is not necessarily relevant in a given context. Most of them will talk about their perceived flaws of others with people around them, creating mistrust. It is important to understand why some people are often In this essay, the researcher seeks to discuss the following question.
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What are the dangers of being judgmental?
The habit of judging others is normal for every human being, but in some cases, it may have negative consequences when one cannot control it. Some people are often very harsh in their judgments of others, even those whom they have just met. According to Holmes, one of the main dangers of being judgmental is the risk of being isolated by others (45). Those who tend to pass harsh judgment on others without proper justification may find themselves being judged by others as well (Bawer 8). People tend to avoid such individuals because of the negative energy they exude. As such, they may not easily get the social support they need from people who are around them.
People who are judgmental find it difficult living in a highly diversified society. The United States is a highly diversified country. The civil rights movement and women empowerment initiatives have created an environment where people are judged on the basis of their individual capacity and character as opposed to their race or gender (Sri 78). Those who tend to be judgmental find it difficult to embrace the new culture. The country has enacted laws and regulations meant to fight discriminative acts by individuals and corporations in the country. It means that one can see legal redress if they feel that they have been victimized primarily because of their gender or race. In such cases, when the judgmental person expresses their opinion in a way that the victim considers discriminatory, there may be legal implications.
I have witnessed a case where a local law enforcement officer not only lost a case in court but also lost his job because of judgmental sentiments when arresting a suspected drug peddler. During the arrest, the officer was caught on tape saying, “You nigger must be having dope in your filthy pockets.” Strangely enough, he found four rolls of a bang when he frisked his pockets. The peddler was arrested and presented to the court for selling narcotics. When the tape was played in court, the defense attorney argued that it was difficult to prove that the officer found the rolls of bang in the suspect’s pocket. They argued that the police were not impartial during the arrest. They questioned the ability of the officer to have a conviction that the suspect had drugs in his pockets before conducting the search. The defense team claimed that because of the hatred that the officer demonstrated during the arrest and his habit of being judgmental, it was possible that the exhibit was planted in the pockets of the suspect for selfish goals. The court found the suspect innocent of the crime that the prosecution presented.
One of the main reasons for the acquittal was the manner in which the arrest was made and the statements of the officer. The suspect pressed charges against the officer for trying to implicate him of a crime he did not commit and of harassment during the arrest. Although the officer was not sentenced to a jail term, it was ruled that he was not fit to hold the office of a law enforcement officer. He subsequently lost his job because of the habit of being judgmental. The fact that he had been an excellent officer who was committed to fighting all forms of crime within the community did not count in the end because he was judgmental and he allowed his emotions to control him when making the arrest. The American society has set core values that define the integrity of those holding public offices, such as the officer given in the case. These officeholders are expected to embrace these values at all times. Their actions are often judged based on their integrity and the level to which they hold values that society has set for them.
The perception that a person has of others depends on many factors such as dress code, the way that a person speaks, gender, race, religion, or any other such factors. However, it is advisable for one to avoid judging others based on these factors, especially in a society that is as highly diversified as the United States. Such a habit tends to cloud one’s judgment and denies them the opportunity to see positive aspects of the person they are judging. It creates an environment where a person only focuses on how dangerous or undesirable others are instead of their potential to create a positive change in society.
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Bawer, Bruce. “Under the Aspect of Eternity: The Fiction of Flannery O’Connor.” The New Criterion, vol. 38, no. 6, 1989, pp. 1-15.
Burns, Shannon. “The Literary Theory of Flannery O’Connor and Nathaniel Hawthorne.” The Flannery O’Connor Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 1, 1978, pp. 101-113.
Holmes, Kim. Closing of the Liberal Mind. Encounter Books, 2016.
Sri, Edward. Who Am I to Judge? Responding to Relativism with Logic and Love. Ignatius Press, 2016.