Edward Lai Harner, Edward Harner
Andrea Harner
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July 6, 2007

On being judgmental

A great passage I couldn't agree more with from Alexander McCall Smith's Espresso Tales. Domenica, a woman of 60 chats with Pat, her 20 something friend:

"...I can definitely see how I've looked at things differently after forty. I'm less tolerant of bad behavior, I think, than I used to be. And why do you think that is?"

Pat shrugged. "You get a bit more set in your ways? You become more judgmental?"

"And what is wrong with being judgmental?" Domenica asked indignantly. "It drives me mad to hear people say: 'Don't be judgmental." That's moral philosophy at the level of an Australian soap opera. If people weren't judgmental, how could we possibly have a moral viewpoint in society? We wouldn't have the first clue where we were. All rational discourse about what we should do would grind to a halt. No, whatever you do, don't fall for that weak-minded nonsense about not being judgmental. Don't be excessively judgmental, if you like, but always - always - be prepared to make a judgment. Otherwise you'll go through life not really knowing what you mean."

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