Editorial – Judging others had better be left to judges

There is probably no one who has not watched a court room drama either in movies or as part of a TV series.

The suspense and thrill of the court cases aside, in some of these movies, as in actual, real-life court room trials, there is one very significant detail that those judges are very careful not to neglect:

They always want to make sure that whatever evidence is brought to court, it must have been obtained through legal means. If evidence is to help justice prevail, it should be provided only through legal and legitimate ways, in other words, illegal behaviour can not be a component of the legal system.

That is to say, in modern times, the methods of doing things are at least as important as the core of what is being done; simply put, ends no longer justify the means as Machiavelli is once said to have theorized.

In a broader context, when this axiom is applied to our social and/or professional lives, it becomes clear that, no matter where we are and what we do, we are responsible for all of our actions.

So whether one teaches in a school, manages a company or mops the floor in a shopping mall, the important thing to look at is how one conducts one’s affairs professionally as well as socially.

But then again, we all have to remember that we are humans, no one is perfect and we all have our defects and shortcomings.

A person can be a very good father to his children, but a terrible manager to his employees, a prolific writer can be an awful speaker, a star sportsman prone to alcoholism; or as we have been reading frequently in recent weeks, a police officer can easily be enticed to criminal activity.

Where does one draw the line in such situations?

Who is to judge an individual for one or other behaviour which may be deemed irresponsible by some and perfectly normal by others?

Whose values are to be taken as the basis for such judgment?

Better yet, does anybody have the right to judge others for their attitudes in circumstances they might have never experienced?

I have always found great wisdom in the saying that is said to belong to the Sioux First Nation: “One should always walk in another man’s shoes before making a judgment on him.”

Canada is a well developed and sophisticated society and it has well written, at least in comparison most countries in the world, legal legislation and a properly functioning judicial system.

It is probably best to leave it to judges and justices to do the judging where that might be needed.

— Mustafa Eric