As suggested by a long-term reader, sometime-commenter, I have to ask the question, “Which is worse: jealousy or judgmentalism?”
I am not a very jealous person but I admit that I have felt pangs of envy when I consider Incident’s beard or Teragram’s ability to go to bed with Incident at night. It’s not fun. And it isn’t fun for the object of jealousy.
Judgmentalism however- now that is a game I enjoy. If you read the Guardian I’ll probably end up suspecting you want to kiss the Queen every morning. If you drive a jeep I will judge you for the socially and environmentally reckless decision that is. Even if you are a builder. Even if you live in the Transvaal. As you give me a lift to the train station and I compliment the colour choice I’ll internally be thinking it would be faster for you to remove my wife’s ovaries than continue ruining the planet for any future children we have. If you are one of those friends who do crazy things like move to Costa Rica to help homeless kids? Well, at the end of the day, in fairness, maybe you are trying too hard, yeah?
Regardless of what you do, I could probably judge it. Endeavouring to see the other’s viewpoint can be seen as the action of a confused, weak mind but being certain you are right is narrow. Liking the Beatles too much is a sign that you wish you were your dad. But not liking them at all? Well God finally made a mistake in creating you.
In fact, the only right way to like the Beatles is to like them exactly the way that I like them. Otherwise, I can judge you.
Unless you are liking them just the way I do too much in which case you are copying me and that is so not the sincerest form of flattery. Cinema vouchers based flattery is.
So there is no battle for me. Jealousy isn’t any fun to anyone. But judgmentalism is great fun for the judge and involves all kinds of sophisticated psychological trickery to find ways to keep pointing that finger in every direction except your own. It’s the relish I have for that kind of challenge that makes me uniquely suited to church leadership.
Your Correspondent, He’s heading for Venus and still he stands tall