On February 27, 2006 Canada made history by publicly interviewing a candidate who had been nominated for the Supreme Court of Canada. In a television forum lasting more than 3 hours, The Honourable Justice Mr. Marshall E. Rothstein of Manitoba openly reviewed his personal and career biography followed by a period of questioning by a number of prominent Canadians.
Mr. Rothstein defined the role of a judge and indicated that it is important that he bring to the bench his ability to apply the law to cases without allowing his own personal feelings to get in the way. Others had previously lauded him for the wisdom that he has displayed throughout a long career in the field of law. This process caused me to begin thinking about how objectivity, personal values and justice are linked.
Teenagers often tell me that they don't like to have others judge the way they dress or talk or behave. They want to be accepted exactly the way they are at the time. Adults also frequently come for therapy sessions indicating that they have never felt loved - only judged.
I find it interesting that we live in a society that often advocates for a non-judgmental environment and yet every aspect of our lives is judged in one way or another. Perhaps the problem lies in whether we feel it is our behaviors or our personhood that is being judged and whether or not this is done in a fair manner.
The older I get, the easier it is for me to laugh about some of the crazy choices I have made in the past. Things that once were very important to me I now judge as being immature or frivolous. I believe that the most important judgment we have on earth is the one we place on ourselves. Psychologists work with individuals to help them view themselves as creative and valuable individuals and not as defeated or unworthy people.
Justice Rothstein will be judging Canadian issues and we will be judging him! I hope that he has confidence in his own ability because there is no way that everyone will agree with his decisions - despite his wisdom.