Ziel: Judging others on their happiness is harmful practice

Renee Ziel

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

What is culturally significant changes from generation to generation. For instance, younger people now tend to be more comfortable with body modifications, such as tattoos, piercings and unconventional hair dye.


The things young people find normal may be outlandish to older generations, so much so that they may be judged for things that are simple to them. A college student may be told not to get a tattoo because they “will never be employed.” Similarly, a decision anyone makes has a chance to be critically inspected by anyone else — and it is often unwelcome.

It’s important that we stop judging others for things that don’t affect us. It’s ridiculous to spend time talking, much less thinking, about the things other people do that don’t matter. One person’s joy should not be another person’s displeasure.

Naturally, there is an exception when it’s harmful, such as blatant hate speech. There are human rights boundaries that cannot be crossed and should be stopped. But more often, I hear judgement over the tiniest things, like what movies someone likes.

Recently, a family member of mine observed his co-workers’ love for Marvel movies, wherein they would have friendly discussions about the events of the most recent film. He finds it ridiculous that people speak of fictional characters and events “as if they’re real.”

The most recent film release by Marvel Studios was “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” It was in theaters in late June and has made over $1 billion at the box office worldwide, according to a Forbes report. It’s clear that millions of people enjoy these movies globally. And if something harmlessly makes someone happy, why judge them for it?

Scrutinizing others for their own decisions that are harmless is wholly pointless and has no benefit to anyone.

Our contemporary world is full of negativity and bad news, so people finding joy and comfort in anything is a welcome advancement. Judging others for something that brings them delight is a waste of time and energy. Imagine the productivity someone could achieve instead of gossiping about someone else’s new tattoo because it’s “too minimal.”

Scrutinizing others for their own decisions that are harmless is wholly pointless and has no benefit to anyone. Putting oneself in a negative place so frequently invites a negative worldview overall.

There will never go a day where we will not inherently judge something or someone. It’s human nature to observe things and have opinions about them, but it’s important that we regularly hold ourselves accountable for our actions and words that may be harmful to not only our mentality, but someone else’s, should they hear.

Judgement can also be harmful to our physical health. The University of Minnesota reports that negative feelings cause stress, which can disrupt the body’s immune system and hormone balance, and excessive anger or distress is linked to several health issues.

Someone may be excited to talk about the new book they read or their new lip piercing and suddenly be shot down by the negative words of someone else not being positive about another’s happiness. If anything, it’s odd and pitiful to return home and gossip about your co-workers’ joy of a new film.


It’s time for others to simply mind their own business if they have nothing good to say about strangers, let alone friends. The first thing we should be doing in improving our societal mentality is celebrating happiness instead of tearing it down. To lack compassion is to bring harm to all people who are merely trying to live a life where the odds are typically stacked against them.

Renee Ziel can be reached at letters@collegian.com or online at @reneezwrites.