I was sharing about professional judgment and scepticism with accounting students at Universiti Malaya last Friday. Quite a heavy topic for those who are still learning about the accountancy profession. However, I reminded the students that judgment is what we do everyday. I quoted the example of the shirts they were wearing when attending the session. Yes, even selecting what you are going to wear involves judgment. It is something that we do everyday, as a sign that we are still alive.
Reflecting on the issue of judgement, it is normally predicated on a range of choices. Rightfully, the choices should be premised on facts, assumptions, thoughts and the values that we believe in. In deciding which of the choices we would be acting on, I suppose one will try to ensure his or her personal interests would be best served by the chosen path.
How do we decide which option would best serve our interests? Do we take into consideration the effect to others, especially on issues where the option would cause many people to experience the consequences of our judgement? I suppose the width of our net of consideration would be dependent on the subject, our position and more importantly what guides us in determining right and wrong, our values.
As one moves up higher in the hierarchy of the society, the consequences of one's judgment would have more significant influence over the society. Whether one is a politician, judge, public officer or spiritual leader, one cannot just think about oneself alone. Unfortunately, based on many things which we are seeing and hearing today, we might be wondering whether the better good of the society is paramount when people in the higher echelons exercise their judgments. Mere mortals like you and me are also subjected to this question in the little things that we do in the space which we could influence.
For those who believe in the Day of Judgement where all actions that they make in this world would be scrutinised and judged by the Lord of the Lords, I am sure they would appreciate that every single decision is a step towards salvation or retribution.
One may hold the highest of position and could be feeling invisible, however, one may not escape the consequences of one's judgement or decision, what more when such decisions and actions are abusive and cause troubles to people. On the other hand, one could be humiliated and shamed now, but later, in the afterlife, such challenging experience could be the pathway for eternal happiness.
We certainly have many choices in what we do. Some may feel fulfilled if the choices we take provide us with the maximum benefits to us in terms of wealth and other material gains. Some would go beyond our self-interest and would also consider what is the greater good of the society. Off course the choices are ours and the consequences would also be ours and ours alone.
Have a great weekend : )