Look at this article in the Deseret News newspaper, dated Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
Lois Collins talks about the recent protests against having a conservative speaker lecture at a college campus. Many people disagree with his ideas. Yet - on the other hand - there are those who either agree with the ideas, or who want to hear more about them so they can decide for themselves. . The point made in this article is that we live in a society based on the right to free speech. The ideas this speaker has are not violent, and don’t incite violence.
We need to be able to allow others to express their ideas, even when their ideas are contrary to our own.
I love Marshall Rosenberg’s concept called “Nonviolent Communication.” We learn that that there are two kinds of judgment. That is very important. What people object to is “judgment” -- but they are actually referring to the first type of judgment -- which is moralistic judgment.
Moralistic judgment says, “There is a right and wrong, and I know what that is. I know that I am right, and so you are wrong.” That is what happening when people object to hearing a speaker on a college campus. “He’s wrong, so we shouldn’t invite him to speak.”
The problem with moralistic judgment is that it is only “good” judgment if you are the one who agrees with the scale of right and wrong. If you do not happen to agree, then you are wrong anyway.
The second type of judgment, though, unites people. It seeks a way to build commonality, and is very helpful to building relationships with others. This is called “value judgment.”
We often find that even though two people disagree on the solution for an issue, they both agree on a certain value. For example, I may not agree with the solutions a speaker has for a problem, but I might value his willingness to explore different ideas. Or I might value the fact that he is willing to admit there’s a problem. Once we find what both parties value, then there can be common ground, and a dialogue can be established.
I believe that Lois Collins has an important point, when she says, “If you can steal someone’s voice, I guarantee you someone else can steal yours.”
Let’s not talk in terms of “rightness” or “wrongness.” Let’s talk in terms of values. What do we value? Find out what the other person values too, and see if there are any similarities.
Understanding the principle of judgment is critical to any free society. We need judgment. I have to be able to choose how I am going to live my own life, so I do have to make choices. When I can connect with others and discuss common values, many times my choices can enrich your life, and your choices can enrich mine.