Day 22 is something that upsets me.

“Upsets” could be taken as “saddens” or “angers,” so I’ll choose something that evokes both emotions in me: judgment.

Let me first distinguish between an opinion and a judgment. Opinions are completely inevitable in being an intelligent creature. I’ll use a personal example: I don’t like rap music. That’s an opinion. “All rap music is terrible” is a judgment. Just because I subjectively don’t like something doesn’t mean it is objectively bad, undesirable, or unworthy. I can say that a movie was very good and add that I didn’t like it. This is not a contradiction; I can acknowledge objective quality while not personally finding value in it.

Associated with judgment is assumption. Another example: When I’m driving, 90% of the music that’s loud enough to be heard from other cars is rap. I am usually nonplussed by this, but I try not to think that those other drivers are also misogynistic and violent, as is often glorified by rap lyrics. I try not to assume that X and Y are always related – that leads to stereotypes, and I hate stereotypes with a passion. Not all rap music has gangsta lyrics; I’ve heard rap music that had very positive, rock-the-world lyrics. The real world doesn’t work in binaries.

To further compound my ARGH response to judgment, there is deliberate judgment. This is markedly different from observing another person to learn about and understand them, as people do when getting to know each other. That’s exploration, genuine curiosity, and honest interest– and usually mutual. Deliberate judgment has an air of superiority to it, divisiveness, looking at a person to condemn or begrudgingly accept. It’s a one-way street. Either you’re worthy or you’re nothing. Either what you can do is awesome or it’s not good enough.

That pisses me off. That terrifies me. That depresses me.

And that’s what I work so hard not to do to anyone, including myself.

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"The broken will always be able to love harder than most. Once you've been in the dark, you learn to appreciate everything that shines." ~Zachry K. Douglas