opinion vs judgement


I like to think that as I've grown older and (hopefully) matured, I've become less judgemental and more accepting. It's clear to me now that the unnecessary judgements I used to pass on others were mostly born out of insecurity and low self-esteem, that I had disguised as simply being strong opinions. It's easy to step over that line.

The thing is, I wholly believe that having opinions, especially strong ones, is something essential. To stay true to our own beliefs, the way we want to live, the things we are passionate about - those should never be taken away from us and we shouldn't feel the need to bend and mould to the opinions of others. It only leaves a bad taste in my mouth when cutting remarks are uttered without really acknowledging whether it's a constructive point of view, or whether it's just a quick act of putting someone down for their own choices/beliefs/opinions. It's common knowledge that we are all different, we all dream our own goals and have our own values, and as long as whatever they are aren't a source of harm or detrimental to others, shouldn't they be accepted for what they are?

I don't claim to be innocent of this - of course I find myself letting words out sometimes before I realise my intention. And I also worry about the opposite, that in my effort to be the least judgemental that I can be, I could be putting my own values and morals aside to try and understand those of others.

This doesn't stem from any one conversation or myself feeling judged - it's just something I've noticed and am pondering about lately. I suppose it's always a work in progress.