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Judging and Understanding


Are Judging and Understanding Mutally Exclusive?

A Judge Who Doesn't Try To Understand

Intelligence, Understanding, Judging, Judges


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Judging and Understanding: Mutually Exclusive?


Judging and Understanding -- Are these two mutually exclusive? I am more and more inclined to say they are. When I was managing my hostel in Montegro I wrote this.


Today some hostel guests were about an hour late checking out. I was feeling a little frustrated and out of control. And confused.

I thought they had understood me last night when I was explaining that checkout was at 9:30, and why. But this morning they were still moving slowly at around 10:15.

After they left I started wondering if it would have helped to explain things more to them. For example, to explain that I wanted to catch a train at 11 and I needed to do some things in the hostel before leaving.

I am afraid that as they left they were feeling judgmental and thinking something like "Why do we have to leave so early? Other hostels have checkout at 12. This is pretty stupid."

Maybe if they understood more, they might be more likely to cooperate voluntarily. Also, they would probably be less likely to feel resentful and judgmental. That is when I thought again that feeling judgmental and feeling understanding are mutually exclusive, or put another way, judging and understanding are mutually exclusive.

I also decided to start a "justice" page today. I suspect that if we understood people and their reasons for doing what they do we would be less likely to punish them. Perhaps we would even want to help them... if we really understood why they did what they did and what their unmet needs were.

By the way, in French there is an expression: ‘Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner’ which means "To understand all is to forgive all. (Source)

S. Hein
Sept 27, 2009
Podgorica, Montenegro

A Judge Who Doesn't Try To Understand

In the United States it seems to be more and more common for judges to send teenagers to prison if they don't go to school.

A judge in Arkansas, Stacey Zimmerman, has been sending teens to jail for not going to school.

This is a very good example of judging, and punishing, someone rather than trying to undersstand them. Understanding why teens don't want to go to school, seems not to be a priority or judges in America With all their education, they were never taught the importance of understanding. Nor dd they learn much about psychology and human nature or human emotional needs and unmet emotional needs.

Major changes are needed in the foundamental institutions in the USA - for example the institutions of education and the so called justice system.

Tout comprendre, c’est tout pardonner

According to this
site this is a ...

"...proverb of uncertain origin – perhaps a commonplace for centuries? This precise formulation is used by Tolstoy in War and Peace (1868), vol. 1, part 1, chapter 28 (the last in this book: chapter-numbering varies) and by Theodor Fontane in a letter to his wife dated 18 August 1876 – in both cases without attribution.

-- Thanks to Andy R. for telling us about this expression :)

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This morning I wrote in my blog...

"It is easier to judge than understand. So why do we put such high value on judges!? Understanders have more value in society."

S. Hein
July 23, 2010
Podgorica, Montenegro

Here is a link talking about judging and understanding


back up

Intelligence, Understanding, Judging, Judges

A large part of intelligence is the ability to understand. Yet we don't expect our judges in the court room to understand or to seek understanding. Instead, we expect and pay them to pass judgement. Do we then require that judges in society actually be intelligent? It certainly takes less intelligence to judge than to understand.

S. Hein