For Wendy Lewis Only

Week 5 Discusion

The Importance of the Principle of Charity

One of the most important ways to grow intellectually is to actually listen to others and seek to understand them as they intend to be understood.  Yet is all too common for people to understand others in  ways that do not reflect the best and most fair interpretation of their intended meaning.

Prepare:  To prepare for this discussion get yourself familiar with Principle of Accuracy and the Principle of Charity.  

Reflect:  Find specific examples in the media or in life in which someone misunderstands someone else.  Have you interpreted others uncharitably?

Write:  Present a case, either in the media or in your own life in which someone interpreted another uncharitably.  What specfically did the first person say?  In what way did the other person understand it?  What did the person really mean?  Do you think that the misunderstanding was intended?  What were the consequences of the misunderstanding?  How might the situation have been better if the person had practiced the principle of charity?  Finally, are these areas in which you could do more to understand others favorably?  How might you be a wiser person if you would do so?