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What do you need to know?

As mentioned in a number of my blogs, one form of coercive behaviour is; the withholding of information.

We can only make informed decisions when we are privy to all the information that is available at the time, even if the information is limited, and only allows for a prediction, or a forecast, the more information we have, the more accurate the forecast will be.

If, for whatever reason, we believe information is being withheld, it’s important to understand why and uncover as much information as we possibly can.

Lets consider the following fictitious scenario;

You have been summoned to court as part of the jury in a serious case. Having been sworn in under oath you are advised by the Judge to listen and consider, all of the evidence presented, before reaching a final decision.

Lives and Justice hang in the balance.

The prosecution steps up, presenting a compelling case as to why they believe the individual is guilty and why you should find in the prosecutions favor.

The defense are told by the Judge, that they will not be permitted to present their case.

You are asked to make a decision based on the information that has been presented to you.

What questions if any, will you need to ask before you feel able to make an informed choice?

Given the Judges decision is a highly unusual one –  what do you need to know?

Lets imagine you question why the defense have not been allowed to present their case.

The explanation given by the Judge is that he is in charge, his word is final and he has decided on this occasion not to allow the defense to put their arguments forward. You are still expected to decide on the fate of the accused, based on the information that has been presented by the prosecution.

What will you do?

How are you likely to feel?

Will you be willing to deliver a verdict without questioning any further? If so, why? and what decision will you come to? What happens if you’re not sure?

Would you be demanding to know why the defense have not been permitted to speak and why their viewpoint hasn’t being taken into consideration? or would you accept the Judge is in charge and therefore his decision is final, just as he has said?

If you were the one in the dock, what would you be hoping the jury would do next and why?

Let’s imagine for now, that you do not like the look of the individual sitting in the dock, and based on appearances alone, you can easily imagine they are guilty of whatever crime they are accused of.

Will the appearance of the accused make it easier for you to accept the Judges decision not to allow the defense to present their case.

Might you assume the accused is probably guilty and therefore it doesn’t really matter? Or would you be outranged by the Judges decision and refuse to deliver a verdict?

Would you consider that if a one sided court hearing could be allowed to happen to one person, it could to anyone, including to you and those you care about?

What are your thoughts? I’m interested to hear your view.

We may blindly accept what we are told by those we trust, respect, admire, love, look up to, believe in – even when it doesn’t make any sense.

We may blindly accept what we are told by those we assume know better than we do or who make us feel like we have no other option.

We always have a choice, even if we struggle to see it.

It can be really difficult to question others even when we know we should. We can feel obligated, making it easier to just accept what we are being told. We can feel silly, especially if everyone else around us appears to be going along without question. We may feel the need to conform,  just to go with flow, fall inline, rather than speaking up, incase others judge us as awkward, difficult or troublesome. There are lots of reasons why we find it easier to follow others, rather than be seen to be making waves.

It’s often easier to feel protective of others, and stand up for their rights, than it is when it comes to standing up and protecting our own.

When it comes to making life changing decisions, it’s important that each of us take the time and effort to gather as much information as we possibly can.

YOU and YOU alone are responsible for the outcome. Regardless of whether someone else has suggested or advised, You are the one who must forever live with the consequences of any decisions that you make.

Let’s imagine in our scenario above, you are unhappy with the idea of making a decision without hearing the defense, but you don’t know what to do about it so you wait to see what the other jurors do. One of the other jurors who is more vocal than the rest, has decided the accused is likely to be guilty, and that is probably why the Judge has made the decision not to allow the defense to speak. The one juror suggests to everyone that this is likely to be the case and convinces the rest of the jury.

Let’s imagine, as a result, despite protesting their innocence, the accused is found guilty and sentenced accordingly.

Let’s imagine, you are later informed that the accused had an water tight alibi and could not possibly be responsible for the crime they were accused of.

How would you feel? Would you feel responsible? or would you blame the Judge?

“Curiosity has it’s own reason for existing, never stop questioning”– Albert Einstein.

Ask questions. Question everything. Don’t take someone else’s word for it, find out for yourself. Be sure of yourself. Don’t discriminate, only listening to information that fits your argument or story. Actively listen to all the information that’s available to you – even if you don’t necessarily agree, listen anyway – you have nothing to lose by listening. Judge for yourself. Disregard the things that feel wrong to you – how you feel is very important.

Remember, it’s impossible to make informed choices, based on what you do not know!

STAND a toolkit for prevention

STOP – Slow the process down, give yourself some time!

THINK – What do you think,  Is this my choice, Pay attention to how you think and feel? What is your gut telling you?

ACT – Consider your response – “I need time to think about this” or “I want to consult with……..? (insert as appropriate)

NEVER – Never allow yourself to be pressured or pushed into something against your will. YOU HAVE RIGHTS PROTECTED IN LAW

DOUBT – Do not Doubt or question yourself. Often stepping back and doing nothing is the best decision in this situation. Don’t over-ride yourself, don’t allow others to over-ride your choices and don’t just follow others blindly. 

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