Thursday, September 10, 2009

Opinionated and Judgmental

I am opinionated and judgmental. That is typically what people who don't take the time to truly understand the meaning of what I (or others) say sometimes actually is. I can often be brash and if a given statement is taken even partly out of context, that meaning of the statement in question can be completely mis-taken and thus misunderstood.

I think many people feel exactly this way. I think many people overlook the subtleties in communication. I think so often when someone says, "now you're just arguing semantics" that it's because "the argument is the semantics". Few seem to ever identify that as the point of contention.

So, am I opinionated because I have opinions that I occasionally share? Am I opinionated just because I have opinions? Despite the actual definition of the word "opinionated", I have acquired the connotation of the word "opinionated" and integrating it as a negative word to with a definition which would better be defined by the word "over-opinionated". I embrace the fact that I have opinions and I will occasionally share them, especially when I have actually given some thought to the opinions that I have really earned, rather than just having opinions that I've heard others say that on the surface I might think I agree with.

Now, am I judgmental? Occasionally, yes. Is it wrong to be judgemental? I'm not so sure... However, I also think there is a difference between making a judgment and being judgmental. Again, the argument is the semantics. I believe we are served by making informed judgments related to our part in things. We make judgments about whether to make one decision or another. Being judgmental is, I think, more of a generalized sweeping judgment that would border on a pre-judgment or being prejudiced (being essentially the correct word that is used to represent the concept I'm illustrating). The point I am getting at is lacking one more angle though, unlike the previous example. Is being judgmental also necessarily judging? I don't think so. I think it's the subtle understanding of the wording of the not so subtle concepts that surround making a judgment about how to judiciously excercise or not excercise the concepts presented here.

I think from a strictly practical view it is important to not be a judging individual where as I think it might be alright occasionally to be judgmental about certain things. The thing that I think is important to maintain when being judgmental is an attitude of understanding, tolerance and acceptance that the actions of others or the situation you are being judgmental about may not be anything you actually have any right to have a judgment about, as it may not involve you at all. If that is the case than you have an opinion and if you express that opinion you may be called, "opinionated and judgmental".

So, I guess this was a shorter post but I believe it is an important one.