Saturday, December 09, 2006

Understanding vs. endorsing

I once made the mistake of responding to the question "how can x group be so blind or so stupid as to not ..." The response to explaining why the mistake was being made was so harsh I left that group. There were too many members who could not separate understanding from endorsing, explaining from believing (though one person remarked that I was continually making the mistake of explaining both sides of an issue and thereby irritating people who had chosen one side or the other).

Understanding is not endorsing. Much like a refusal to talk is merely a choice of communication strategies.

"We do not talk with terrorists" or "we do not talk with criminals" seems silly when you ask the person saying it "So, do you mean you do not communicate with them?" Not only that, but most police departments have found that they get better law enforcement and achieve their goals better when they communicate with, usually by talking with, those who have taken hostages or committed other crimes. It would amaze many people to learn just how much good police work is done by talking.

It would amaze many people how important to good police work understanding is.

The police are the last to endorse crime, to intend to give in to criminals. Yet, they are the first to understand and to communicate with criminals, given the chance.

Understanding is not endorsement, communication and talk is not surrender.

1 comment:

Aimee "Roo" said...

That is true, too often the two are confused as being the same thing.

I hope that you get a dog for your daughter! :)