Furthermore, if you can understand, does it cause your decisions to be better/worse/ or is there no difference in the outcome?

For example: I might know I shouldn’t indulge in chocolate cake, but if I haven’t experienced being diabetic, can I really understand the importance of a healthy diet? Do my decisions change for the worst if I can’t understand?

Think of being able to empathize with a situation rather than just being told of something.




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  1. fosheet 1 year ago

    I think to be an effective “helper” we must be able to empathize, but still keep a distance.

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      Scarlett 1 year ago

      @fosheet it is important to be a helper and not a saver. Consider that we have a particular narrative in out minds when we are empathizing, and the person who is the recipient of our narrative has a different narrative, would we be making choices that are in their best interest or our own?

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      • fosheet 1 year ago

        @Scarlett I think it’s easy to get caught up in wanting our choices and decisions met while we help others, but i try to remain cognizant of that desire, and therefore I allow myself to want what’s best for the individual. It doesn’t mean I don’t secretly hope they will choose “my right idea” but everyone walks their own path, I’m just there to voice other opinions and ideas they may not have had or been strong enough to say out loud.

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  2. griz 1 year ago

    It’s easy to know an acquaintance but a lot harder to understand them.

    A good friend or spouse is both known and better understood; though they can probably still shock and surprise you!

    The child that grows up under your care is both known and much better understood, especially if you’ve bothered educating yourself in some developmental or behavioral disciplines.

    Understanding something makes for far better decisions than just knowing it, or knowing about it. Provided we don’t become too emotionally involved. That’s why therapists and clinicians practice professional detachment.

    I don’t think “being able to empathize with a situation” is quite right. While emotions are a part of understanding the situation, trying to understand it with just that one tool leads to a partial understanding at best. Both decisions and solutions will cater just to emotions. And that is often not practical in the long term.
    Plus it can lead to a solution that caters more to our emotions than the other person’s. One can think the problem solved when just our emotions feel better.

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      Scarlett 1 year ago

      @griz when you make a decision, what process do you go through? are you able to sit with yourself and remove all biases prior to making the decision?

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      • griz 1 year ago

        @Scarlett
        Totally removing biases is a long and arduous process. Detecting them in the first place is not easy either. (That’s why it’s important to surround ourselves with both friends and enemies of similar and different thought and opinion. Enemies in particular see our flaws long before we or our friends do)

        But when I make a decision usually either emotions or intellect are the first voice heard from depending on the kind of mood I’m in.
        If it’s a major decision I do research and homework.
        Awareness of biases I still have but I’m working on comes next.

        If it’s a snap decision and I don’t have the luxury of time, I go with what might be called gut or instinct.
        But this is not the same selfish fearful animalistic guide that it once was. A lot of exercise and experience (some of it bitter), and the lifelong quest for Truth and wisdom have changed it into something that is more functionally reliable.

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  3. ladybarbara 1 year ago

    A doctor told me to stop eating red meat. She said it was killing me. She told me to stop drinking whole milk. I understood what she was saying, but knowing what damages she was cautioning me from doesn’t make much of a difference. It just proves that she doesn’t know me. I don’t drink milk. My meat choices are more towards chicken and salmon. But, because I am the asshole I am —— I drank a big glass of milk before my next doctor’s appointment and blood tests. Yes, I understand and I know what I understand. Tonight, I am going to eat a big beef steak. Knowing and understanding doesn’t stop me. I don’t like being accused of that which I normally don’t do. The doctor wants me eating salads. I smiled and said, “Hey, I didn’t get this way by eating salads.” I don’t like salads.
    Yes, I know. Yes, I understand.

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  4. immortal_pirate 1 year ago

    Knowing is a process of collecting facts. It is the catalog of events accumulated over a given period of time. History…

    Understanding is the process of comprehension of facts. The WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, and HOW factors of events accumulated over a given period of time.

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  5. Yin 1 year ago

    To know something is to acknowledge something is a certain way. To understand something is to be able to explain the science or history behind it. I like Albert Einstein’s quote: “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.” If you understand something, then your decision making should be more accurate to what you want. I can’t say it will be good, bad, or neither. It is up to the person and their intentions. Sometimes, they want worse results. Sometimes, they still just don’t care.

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      Scarlett 1 year ago

      @Yin look at the way mostly white juries convict black offenders at a rate of 70% . there was a judge in my town who threw out a case simply because the jury that was seated was all white for a black offenders.That is not a jury of one’s peers. a white man cannot understand a black man, cannot understand all he has faced in his life. But, does a black juror make the correct decision simply because they understand the person. does empathy sway our decisions for better or worse?

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      • Yin 1 year ago

        @Scarlett A black juror wouldn’t automatically make the correct decision just because they understand the person. While there is a less chance that racism will play a roll, there are still personal opinions and maybe even racial bias for the person that also alters the decision making. Understanding in that situation most definitely helps, but it isn’t the only factor. Removing that obvious racial bias of the all white jury is much needed though. I mean, maybe there are groups that aren’t at all driven by racial bias, but that is a big gamble to take for something like that when it could be avoided.

        Empathy is also a tough question. We need empathy 100%, but we also can’t let it drive us to vengeance. There is also the chance that we are empathetic to the criminals over the victims. I’m just so torn on this question. We need those judges that are empathetic and drop bogus charges or first time mistakes. Empathy is good there. In big cases, empathy can hurt a lot. You can be empathetic to the wrong people. You can be too empathetic to the right people and over punish the bad people. I feel like that is an area where we still need empathy, but we need more logic.

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  6. luftballooneyegouge 1 year ago

    I know there’s 9 possible soulpancake emoticons shown as available, before I push “post comment”.
    I understand there’s 9 ‘caus’ve math.
    Yummy Chocolate Cake won’t give you Diabetes if yer not chain-smokin’ ’em.

    BILL COSBY IS IN MY HEAD NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We’re never getting Pudding Pops® back… :sad:

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