Word-wise, and without additional context, people often don’t seem to make a distinction between passing judgment, and making assumptions.
Using judgment colloquially there is very little difference, however, I think a distinction should be made between them.
If we encourage people “not to judge” that should not be synonymous with “don’t assess”.
Assessing is how we determine things, and in the person to person interactions, when colloquial judging is discouraged, we also need to be able to assess and discern. We need to be able to know, or at least guess at, when a situation is dangerous, when someone needs help, when we should reach out with compassion. How can we learn that?
By assessing; and that’s what discerning judgment is.
Preferably this assessing we do should be based upon our own senses (see/hear/touch/taste/smell), in other words personally attained empirical evidence; and in person to person situations, that’s all we really need.
When you look at a person don’t assume, instead, assess and discern.
I read a post today, a good post by Sue Jones, which was about letting go of judgment.
Thoughts were welcomed so I wrote a comment to Sue on her blog. I wrote too much, like I almost always do, but thought I did an alright job… So I’m going to post it here, along with some follow up thoughts. The comment follows…