A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and I expressed negative opinions about someone (person X) who did both of us wrong. This friend of mine is 57 years old, and she’s an amazing lady. I have a lot of respect for her. Upon hearing my negative comment, she said to me: “I don’t really like to get into judging people this way.” I replied that I was not judging person X. I said “I’m not judging him, I’m expressing my opinion regarding his opinion.” She added: “but that’s what judging is.”
It made me think, and I think that despite all the respect I have for my lady friend, I think she’s wrong. I think it’s OK to have our own opinions, and not only it’s OK, but I think it’s important to stand up for what we believe, and for what we are. Our beliefs are representative of who we are, and we should be able to face criticism, and sometimes be willing to take the flack for our own opinions. (not always easy)
I’m not a big fan of Kant, and I don’t know his work in English. Here’s one thing he wrote, however, that stuck with me as an important value in the way I choose to live my life: “Ais le courage de ton propre entendement” It basically means that one should have the courage and the integrity to own up to what he/she believes. According to Samuel Kant, if you can’t own up to your own thoughts and beliefs, the same thoughts and beliefs are worthless.
This said, where do you draw the line? Is it OK to be judgmental if you think someone is an idiot? Is it OK to say “you are being selfish” if that’s honestly what you believe? Is it fair to express your opinions even though they may belittle someone or make someone feel bad?
Many examples can be seen on this forum where someone will express his/her opinion while the same will contradict someone else’s opinion to the point where the recipient of the said opinion will feel ridiculed, offended, and of course, judged.
Is it fair to say that you are being judgmental by expressing it?(Your opinion) So the question is, at what point do your opinions amount to make you a judgmental person? Or is it all just the same? (having opinions that others don’t like to hear)
This said, if someone was to not like your opinion and feel judged as a result, would that person be even more judgmental to say “you are being judgmental?” Is it not the coward way? The easy way out of backing up your own opinion to label someone judgmental when they disagree with you?
Then of course, there’s the situation where someone will express an opinion without knowing all the facts, and therefore that same person could turn out to be wrong, and perhaps judgmental. But still, if you don’t know all the facts, then your opinion is based on what you know, and it’s not said that you will not change your opinion when new information is brought to light. An apology may be in order, and if apologies are made, then there’s no foul, no?
What am I missing here? Respect for others opinion? But of course. That goes without saying.
I’m asking because I’m a fervent believer that we should say what we think. I think it’s better than not saying it. This way, we know what others think, and others know what we think. Call it tough love or blunt honesty if you like. The hell with losing face if I have to. I’d prefer that anytime over you withholding your thoughts.
So what do you think?