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Judge Not: On Moralistic Judgments

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#That’sJustTooHard: Think Before Speaking

There's no stopping a word spoken.

There’s no stopping a word spoken.

One kind of life-alienating communication is the use of moralistic judgments that imply wrongness or badness on the part of people who don’t act in harmony with our values. Such judgments are reflected in language such as, “The problem with you is that you’re too selfish.” “She’s lazy.” “Their prejudiced.” “It’s inappropriate.” Blame, insults, put-downs, labels, criticism, comparisons, and diagnoses are all forms of judgment.

–Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication (Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press, 2005) 16

Which is not to say we do not have values and make judgments based on our values. Of course we do. But what if held back our knee-jerk spew of moralistic judgment about someone we’ve never met? What if we first talked with them?

A conversation could show us how wrong we were—or confirm our suspicions.

But…hear first.*

###

*Of course I am pointing to my own failure at this before pointing anywhere else.

Image Credit: Kirk Livingston

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Written by kirkistan

June 22, 2015 at 1:22 pm

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