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Whether you pronounce potato with the “a” sounding like “bay” or the “a” sounding like “ahhh”, it is purely your opinion or should I say your judgment. This discussion of the difference or similarities between “opinion” and “judgment” seems to bring up a lot of different answers.

So being a good researcher, the first thing that I thought that would be appropriate was to consult the dictionary. Opinion – a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. Judgment – the forming of an opinion. It looks like they are pretty similar, if not circular to me.

My history with the word judgment is that I was taught not to judge people or circumstances. Judgment was considered a negative action even though the dictionary clearly shows that not to be the case. There were a lot of references to judgment in religion. I guess I never really knew how I felt about it until I became involved in the Mankind Project, where we dealt with our judgments head on. I remembering arguing with John Gaughan about how I was not judgmental and that I had a hard time accepting the fact that we all judged all day, every day. It was the start of my journey to really understand the differences between data (facts) and judgment (opinion).

What I learned on my journey is the word judgment has ALOT attached to it for ALOT of people…most of it negative, with a lot of shame and guilt attached. For whatever reason, the word opinion does not have those attachments… seems to be the safer of the two words.

What I have come to understand is that opinion and judgment has the same meaning and neither one has a positive or negative meaning…… it is simply an observation or a belief. The important piece is to realize we all judge, all the time and it is simply our way of expressing the way we see things that are not facts.

This is an important distinction because our healing is in our judgments, not the facts or the data. It is our judgments that form who we are and when we change our judgments, we change our personalities…..that is just my opinion.

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