Everyone worries about being judged. One foolish tweet can destroy a career, one careless image can ruin a reputation. Yet judgement is inescapable; we cannot be social beings without judging and being judged. We're stuck with judgement and all the awkwardness, embarrassment, shame, guilt and loneliness that can come with that.
Yet all is not lost in this arena of snap verdicts and social misfires. In this sensitive and creative book, Ziyad Marar reclaims judgement proposing that we need it in order to value ourselves and others; we can't live abundantly without the peaks and troughs of judgement. Drawing upon psychology, philosophy, TV, Film, poetry and literature, Marar reveals a world which takes seriously our need to reach out and connect and one where hope, however tentative, can blossom.
There are no easy answers here, but there are moments where our judging can become generous and forgiving; moments where the cracks in the world feel like possibilities rather than dead ends, moments when the light comes in.
Ziyad Marar is the author of Intimacy (2014), Deception (The Art of Living) (2008) and The Happiness Paradox (2003) and is President of Global Publishing at Sage Publications.
Introduction Judging in the digital age A tour of this book 1. The social minefield Social pain Shame and guilt Covering up Making an impression 2. The right kind of reputation Earning a reputation `Nice and in control': the twin peaks of a good reputation Trying to do both `Heroes' 3. Unreliable judges How we judge: moral taste buds Judgement in context Moral luck Can we judge fairly? Reserving (or revisiting) judgement 4. Breaking Free Animals and artists Escaping the potent audience Washing off the human stain 5. The last judgement Telling tales Learning from literature Significance Index