Judgement: the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions
Discriminate: recognize a distinction; differentiate
An interesting point: the first synonym listed for both “judgment” & “discriminating” is “discernment,” defined as “the ability to judge well.” Would we want to exclaim “I have no discernment!”? I digress.
Some may find this an exercise in semantics, but I’d argue that it is more profound than personal interpretation. With political correctness reaching unprecedented levels, we as a society are claiming to not judge (make a considered decision or come to a sensible conclusion) or discriminate (recognize a distinction; differentiate). We do this in an effort to align with political agendas and, more importantly, to avoid being labeled by the faceless mob of social media as a bigot, racist, hate monger, or any number of “-phobes.”
A topical example of a man who exercised discrimination and judgement is movie director, Peter Berg, in his reaction to Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner winning the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage. ESPN describes the award as:
“The Ashe Award is one of the most prestigious in sports. Recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”
Note: Non-athletes can also win the award.
After Mr. Jenner had won the Ashe Award at the 2015 ESPYs, Mr. Berg posted the following image to his Instagram account.
Mr. Berg practiced both discrimination and judgement by posting this. Berg discriminated (recognized a distinction; differentiated) between the acts of bravery each of them took and judged (made a considered decision; came to a sensible conclusion) that the soldier’s act of bravery, which resulted in the involuntary loss of his limbs, as opposed to Jenner’s elective plastic surgeries, more fully embodied “possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and the willingness to stand up for their beliefs no matter what the cost.”
More importantly, he discerned that we, as a nation, are cheapening the meaning of bravery in a way that is utterly offensive to the truly brave. What resulted of Mr. Berg posting this? The faceless social media mob, along with the mainstream media, both of which have no judgement or discrimination (read: discernment) unleashed hate upon him in eerily similar fashion to the way Party members participated in Two Minutes of Hate in Orwell’s “1984”.
“Ignorant”, “fuck you”, “you piece of crap”, “Small Peter Berg is an idiot and a hater”, and “transphobic” are just a sampling of the hate spewed from social media (read: Party members). Here we witness both a definitive lack of discernment and the mob mentality so common on social platforms today. The result resembles a flock of lemmings all racing towards the cliff. In mainstream society’s efforts to accept everything, and discriminate against nothing, admirable character can no longer be distinguished from that of moral decay.
As men, we should strive to go through our lives listening to wisdom, learning from mistakes, practicing sound judgement, and discriminating right from wrong. By doing this, we can hope to be men of discernment, men who will not bend to the trends and false ideologies which are en vogue.
But, as men, we will stand steadfast for what is universally true and just. And, as leaders, we can pass on this wisdom to those around us who are still capable of listening.