SO… My social media status a few days ago raised a minor firestorm, complete with reactions which made me wonder why the nerve I seemed to have touched was so raw. I’m at a point in my life where opinions don’t matter that much to me except as philosophical fodder. As is my wont, effort was exerted to make heads and tails not of those reactions but rather the reason that drove them. Here’s what I have concluded.
It turns out these are not opinions we are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. Opinions (as we know them) have formed alliances, created irreparable chasms between friendships, changed the way we view the world, and also provided much laughter. Yet it baffles me how we can be so invested in them, whether our own or others. As I sift through the daily flood of opinions that cross my path, I am now realizing that they are more than that. These often poorly-expressed thoughts are not merely opinions, they are judgments usually final and irrevocable.
Anything and everything that we encounter in our daily lives, that we think we believe in, that we place some modicum of importance upon, all these serve to influence the judgments we deign to inflict on others. I mean, seriously. Just take a look and listen. Human to human. Nothing affects us unless it is personified.
Case in point. The incident between a Marawi vet and an RTA officer which resulted in injuries to one. I was amazed at how personal everyone’s judgment was. That the soldier dared to fire an Armalite. That the RTA officer was arrogant and deserved what he got. That people nearby who witnessed the incident were racing to take a personal video to be first to post on social media (this last bit is MY judgment). And the outward spiral was even more amazing. That Egay Uy is a useless, ineffective head of RTA. That others came to his defense. And that all sides of that discussion were lighthanded in issuing judgments on the circumstance. Without benefit of investigation, research, or a proper and legitimate arena for the discussion.
Case in point. People’s ongoing love or hatred for Duterte and his pronouncements and actions. Funny thing is that people will bring up PRRD as the starting point, but end up namecalling and judging all whose judgments don’t match their own. “Dutertard.” “Yellowtard.” “Idiotard.” Yes, my contribution to the fray. For that’s what we all are. “Idiotards.” And I apologize for the not-so-subtle reference to the shortened version of the word “retard”. Which lost all its political correctness many years ago. Although in our case, it seems “retard” applies.
Think about it. Everything happens in this world with no actual valuation of good or evil until we idiotards call upon religion, morals, ethics, politics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and (worst of all) personal interpretation on these things. Human rights is one. I mean, how exclusionistic is that? Only humans have rights? All the thousands of animals that we slaughter on a daily basis (now that’s true EJK right there) have no rights because… what? Because we like to eat lechon, steak, kinilaw?
Why don’t we have popular judgment on environmental issues? Because it doesn’t directly affect us? We truly are idiotards to think that. But the ability to make complex, irrational judgments are what sets us above the lowly creatures of the earth, or that is what we want to believe. Take a good look. How scary is that?! We function in a society where EVERYONE is a member of the supreme court. And majority, not right, wins the day. And, sadly, almost all of us are not equipped to be good judges. With no intended offense to those who legally own the title of Judge (and no personal comment on their ability whatsoever).
Don’t we rely on judgment to be arrived at because it is what is best for all? And yet all our judgments come from a primitive, shallow place. Judgments pronounced on wigs, perceived sexual preferences, lack of intellectual capacity (theirs, definitely not mine hahaha). Judgments pronounced with finality because we don’t like or agree with what we see and hear. Idiotards, that’s what we all are. We forget a basic tenet of human decency which we all know but refuse to espouse: Judge not, that ye be not judged. As human beings, are we truly capable of this?
Actually, let me be the judge of that.