Russell and Duenes

Don’t Judge Too Quickly

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One good effect – at least I think it’s a good effect – that law school has had on me is that I now seem to judge situations less quickly. I’m less apt to assume that one side of the story is the whole story. When one is forced to look at a fact pattern closely, and to consider each detail with great care, one comes to see that there are many angles from which to view any given situation. This does not mean that I’m a relativist, or that seeing the whole picture means there are no “right” answers or no truth. It just means that I am beginning to see how limited my knowledge is in any case, and that I ought not to judge too quickly. I ought not to judge a lawsuit as “frivolous” before knowing both sides of the story. I ought not to say, “That guy deserves no defense” before knowing the best arguments his defenders have made. I ought to give more people the benefit of the doubt, and be more charitable in my assessments. I ought to adopt more of a “wait and see” attitude to new statements or contexts. As the Scripture says: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Prov. 18:17)


Written by Michael Duenes

June 27, 2012 at 6:00 am

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

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