Empathy Good, Judgment Bad

We all make choices every day. Our decisions are unique to us, based on own perspective, our own past, and our own value system. Occasionally they are big choices with grand consequences to our lives. Those choices are usually well thought out and given great consideration. Why, then, are important decisions sometimes met with such disapproval from others?

It's a matter of perspective. Our own decisions are made from the most important perspective of all ... our own. Anyone making a judgment has a huge hurdle to clear. It's almost impossible, in fact. They must be able to completely understand the situation we are in that led to our decision. Knowing the facts, the history, and even the nuances, requires a great deal of information and knowledge. Things are rarely as simple as they may seem on the surface.

Many people make judgments about others actions only from their own perspective and using their own personal train of thought and value system. It's the cause of much of the intolerance in this world. Seeking instead to learn the details of others situations will lead to an understanding of their struggles, and ultimately to empathy. That's far better than judgment.

And by the way, this is one reason why the laws in our society should be based far more on guaranteeing individual rights and freedom of choice, and not on forcing a particular value system upon each of us. Codifying into law a value system is not the place of government.

See my related entry, A Path to Tolerance, and Beyond.

Posted: Thu - March 25, 2004 at 11:23 PM