Judgemental people really bug me. I don't quite understand the satisfaction someone receives by looking down on others for having a different opinion, or forcing their opinions down others throats.
Lots of things lately have spiked my thoughts on judgement, and I've been working on the best way to write about this over the past week or so. Is it really possible for us to be strong in our beliefs without judging others? Can we be passionate about certain life aspects of life without judging others? Are people capable of expressing a difference of opinion without passing judgement? I believe yes.
I really think it is possible, and it is something I strive to do whenever a controversial discussion arises. Sometimes I feel beaten down by trying to be open, but still firm. Sometimes I even feel like I shouldn't step into controversial discussions because other opinions are so forced on me, my own opinion isn't respected. Do you all ever feel this way?
Let's take politics, for example. I don't care if you voted for Obama or McCain-and I don't intend to specify my preference either. The terrible remarks and arguments I listened to during this past election were completely judgemental and disrespectful from both parties. I also feel that the problem with our countries government is our inability to unify after an election. I understand that there are a lot of things President Obama is wanting to happen in our nation that many disagree with. However, I feel that while you have the freedom to agree or disagree, he is now our President. We must unify as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats. I'm not saying any of this to open up arguments on health care reform, the economy, or the war in Iraq. I'm simply saying that we all have the right to have individual feelings on these issues-and we all deserve respect about our feelings. I have been in places with many people voicing their strong opinions about these issues, and talking about how "stupid" anyone is that might disagree. What makes it right for certain people to strongly voice their opinions, and degrade others for feeling different? Judgement.
Another bloggy friend of mine, Shannon, opened up discussion a few nights ago about childbirth. Shannon is excited about motherhood, and it isn't unusual for her to discuss these things on her blog. She linked this particular post to her Facebook, and used the analogy that she was prepared for others to throw rocks at her for her feelings on natural childbirth. It made me so sad that other's do this to people. Shannon has the right to decide her route for childbirth, just as you do, or I do. I feel that every opinion on this matter is important, and has value. I feel that every Mommy has their own reasons for their decision-and they should be respected for it.
The medical field is another aspect that gets rises out of people. Go visit Jorden and Kristin, on a discussion about the H1N1 vaccine. The Mommy-to-be is experiencing lots of judgement on her decision, and I hate that for her. She has done extensive research, and has made the decision that makes her feel the most comfortable about protecting her Sweet P. There are many strong feelings on whether or not to take this vaccine, but everyone has to do what makes them feel the safest.
Religious beliefs always get people going, which is the one that usually blow me away. Christians are supposed to be the least judgemental, right? This is definitely not always the case. I love discussions about religion, especially when my beliefs differ from others. I want to know what you believe and why you believe it. However, it's harder to find non-judgemental conversations about this topic-especially with non-Christians. My religious beliefs are certainly very important to me, and while I can tell you that I believe differently than someone who isn't a Christian, I don't feel that I can look down on you for not seeing my way. I feel that living the Christian life can sometimes be more influential than preaching it. Don't get me wrong; preachers and ministers are remarkable people, and they have a gift to be able to spread God's word in a way that is non-judgemental. Not everyone has this gift. Teaching by example is a powerful tool.
As a Christian, there are certain worldly actions that I don't believe in. However, I am friends with/know lots of people that have done things I don't agree with-but I still love them just the same, and I don't judge them for it. It isn't my place-it isn't my choice. It is my place to love them the way I always have-and pray for them. Judgement will come by Him on the Judgement Day, and it is my prayer that they have confessed their sins before that time comes. It isn't my job to judge them until that time comes.
I don't mind for people to disagree with me. I don't mind to disagree with others. I do mind those that refuse to listen to different points of view. You can remain firm in your beliefs and still listen to a different aspect on any topic. In fact, I feel that listening to different aspects often make me feel stronger in what I believe. I am willing to give anyone's opinion a fair shot, because I'm very aware that I don't know everything. Listening and being open to new opinions will either teach me something new, or strengthen my current feelings. We should all be able to openly believe what we choose, and respect others for agreeing and disagreeing.