In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you feel like criticising anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
"And whether you're an honest man, or whether you're a thief, depends on whose solicitor has given me my brief."
Judgment, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
We can conjecture and suppose, but few things in life are uncomplicated and our knowledge of the thing complete enough to conclusively pronounce righteousness. This idea is related to interpersonal relationships(and expanded) in this message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He points out the danger in passing judgment on others when we aren't in their body and cannot take into account all their experience. Often we "mind read" - believing that we can suppose another's thoughts and motivations based on their actions. It is a slippery slope and one with - I can say from experience - with a hard bottom of reality. In talking to someone the other day, she explained the demonic motivations of a third party. "Did she say that?" I asked. "No," came the reply, and I knew, because I had spoken to the third party, that my friend's assumptions were just that, however reasonable it seemed from the third party's behavior.
In pondering judgement I notice that I am most harshly critical of myself when I am harshly critical of others. The nonacceptance I pour out to others comes back to me stronger when I look in the mirror. I'm am not a hypocrite. If I expect it of you, I'll expect it of me, and perhaps more so. This has led to miserable feelings. Being unsatisfied with others is frustrating and draining. Berating yourself is equally (or perhaps more) damaging and depressing. The essence of judging is nonacceptance and all nonacceptance leads to depression and anxiety.
Now, before you judge me as being unnecessarily critical of judgment*, let me explain judgment has its place. We rely on it. I must judge the safety of food (yet I've misjudged and been sick or misjudged and thrown out perfectly edible food); judge the reliability of others (I take a leap of faith when a plumber or electrician comes, and so far, so good); or judge to appropriateness of any decision (it's gone both ways on this one). If I relied on absolute perfect appraisals I would be paralyzed. Judgment is the mother of decision and thus the grandmother of progression.
It seems to me that there must be a balance of judgment. If judgment does not move the judge into better places, it is of no worth and should be discarded. For example, criticism of self should only be helpful in motivating positive and appropriate change; it should not be used to shame or punish.
Might I suggest an alternative way to judge that does not involve opinions or labels? This idea is taken from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The idea is that instead of labeling something as good or bad or right or wrong (which has with it the pit of possibly being untrue) we describe the thing and decide on its helpfulness to our current situation. To describe something is to point out its attributes, those which cannot be contested - it's green, the cheese has mold on it, she's wearing Gucci. Then look at the facts - indisputable - and decide if they're helpful. In this way, nothing is evil or bad or even good. It either promotes my goals, or does not, and I shall choose (provided I'm sane in the moment) what promotes my goals. If saying those things to a friend seems to draw the friend further from me, I won't do that again. If wearing green brings out my eyes, then may all my clothes be green.
Take from this what is helpful, discard the rest, but whatever you do, don't give it the bland, nondescript title of good or bad.
*True judgment is simply labeling something and may well be that I've label something positively. In this essay I focus almost exclusively on negative labels. I must add here that positive labels can be equally precarious, resulting is poor decision making, and I continue to recommend my method of describing over labeling.