If we all wanted to be judges, we should have gone to law school

First anecdote

My entire handbag was stolen from practically under my nose about thirty years ago, while I was having lunch with my best friend, Linda, in a café in Bloomingdale’s. I had been heatedly debating with Linda on why she was still breastfeeding her two-year-old son and so I wasn’t paying attention to my bag, which I had placed on the floor next to me.

Second anecdote

The day Douglas and I moved to a new apartment, Linda (same friend as above) came to see it.  She stood in the center of the living room and said: “It’s soooo small.”

Gads, we’re so judgmental when we’re young. Why did I care that her son was walking over to her breast for a drink? If she wanted to suckle him till he was 10, it wasn’t my business.

Why did she care that my apartment was small?  She wasn’t moving in.

We surely don’t have to agree with everyone all the time. Debate can be healthy and educational, especially when it comes to subjects including politics, the economy, and the theory of evolution.  Opposing opinions might even help us define ours. Isn’t that what jury deliberation is all about? But we needn’t impose our values and viewpoints on others when it comes to personal conduct that doesn’t interfere with our lives one bit.

That’s one of the beauties of being FOF.  I’ve learned to be less judgmental, at least less obviously judgmental.  Today, I’d still think my breastfeeding friend was nuts. I just wouldn’t tell her.

3 Responses to “If we all wanted to be judges, we should have gone to law school”

  1. Duchesse says:

    If I hear a judgment as only someone telling me what is comfortable or preferable for them, I can respond differently. But if I take it as an attack on my taste, values or dignity, them’s fighting words.

    When I can muster all my maturity, I listen for the need behind the judgment. So, your friend likes a lot of space- and that has nothing to do with you.

    I would rather have someone say, “Wow, your place is so small” than just be blandly insincere.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Duchesse,

      When I know someone loves something or is happy about it, but I’m not crazy about it, I tell them: “Oh, it’s great.” Unless I know they really want my opinion. Linda told you how she felt about everything you did, whether you wanted her opinion or not. 🙂

      G

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  2. Toby Wollin says:

    Sigh. We all judge one another; it’s part of the human condition. Does this person look like a threat? Does this person look helpful? does this person look as if he/she finds me attractive? On the phone, this person’s voice sounds fantastic (or not). Henry Higgins was right – the moment we open our mouths or make an appearance, other people are judging us. The best we can do is try to balance that off with what is important.

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