Illustration by Sophie Yang.

Disclaimer: This is very opinionated. You’ve been warned.

Confession time: I am a judgmental person. I refuse to deny this. But before you burn me at the stake, please hear me out.

Every day, whether I am walking down the street, grocery shopping, or watching videos on YouTube, I judge people. I am infected—no, that’s not the right word. I am overwhelmed by this extreme need to judge those that I see (let’s be honest, even those who I only know or hear about). These judgments are not necessarily racial, or sexual. But they are judgements. I judge people at an incredibly mind boggling pace and I do not know how to stop. I do not know if I even want to stop. Let me explain why.

I know that my judgements are superficial. I know that I may be wrong. A lot of people do not feel comfortable admitting this but in my mind, every judgment passed, plan thought and decision made is transient in nature. They, like all other elements of life, are subject to change. And no change is irrevocable. No judgement can be final. Only once we accept this can we move on.

Whether it’s done subconsciously or consciously, we are all guilty of judging others. Passive or active in our pursuits, our instincts draw from the experiences we have had, the stories we have been told, and the things we have seen. Some of us deny this, even to ourselves. Some of us do not. I am part of the latter group. I believe we all should be.

Judging is innate. Evolutionarily, it was a prerequisite for survival. It is a form of risk calculation, one that may not fare as well in modern times. However, instead of denying that we have this less than ideal quality, we should learn to live by it. We should learn to guide our judgements constructively and use them to learn more about the world around us.

I am a judgmental person. I judge people on a daily basis. I do not necessarily have a metric for it, nor do I have a specific scaling system. I judge people by the way they talk, the way they walk, the way they behave. I judge people by the things they do, the things they say and the things they try to hide. I judge people by their acquired characteristics, not their intrinsic ones. Or at least I hope I do.

But I judge people. And so do you. It is time to own it.