Mandy refuses to let anyone judge her.  Never, ever. And sometimes, this mother of two small children makes it clear that she’s not beholden to anyone’s opinions.

Recently, the brother of her friend expressed surprise when he learned that Mandy’s two-year-old was already in school (actually a nursery).  She responded: “Don’t judge me.” And she went on to say: “I need some time for myself.”

This is understandable.  Her husband is away for weeks at a time—working on an offshore oil rig.  He makes a good income, and part of his sacrifice is being away from his family.

His wife—Mandy—is a good person.  She is a full-time parent.

Anyway, the man talking to her wasn’t judging her one bit.  Not at all. He just thought it was neat that her son was in a school-like setting at the age of two.

Still, “Don’t judge me” can be a rallying cry for so many of us.  We all have our reasons for what we do, how we live, and what we think.  Most of us believe in “live and let live.”

That doesn’t stop people from offering unsolicited advice, of course.  One of our friends received some feedback at the supermarket—of all places.  She was there with her four children when another lady approached her and told her she had “enough children.”

Our friend was understandably unhappy about this comment.  She felt, with great justification, that her family size was her and her husband’s business—and theirs alone.

This is life.  Sometimes we receive unwanted and unnecessary feedback.  And yes, sometimes we give it ourselves.

We all have our opinions and perspectives on life, and what works best for us.  Offering advice is usually okay, provided we have another’s best interests in mind.  But being judgmental is another story.

Mandy sees this in her life.  And being human, she, too, judges her own mother from time to time.  She wishes her mother would be more active as a grandmother.

There you have it—the judged can be judges, too!

The phrase “Don’t judge me” may be a tad defensive, but it reflects a bigger truth, and something arguably positive.

We are freer now to express ourselves and live as we choose than at any other time in human history.

Of course, we all have our social circles and our communities with their norms and rules.  And we continue to “judge” each other.

But these judgments matter less than before.  They are less absolute, less limiting, and less overbearing.

We are more likely to assert ourselves and our right to live as we wish.

Our lives are freer now!