Theodore Dalrymple is ‘n Britse sielkundige wat in sy boek “Life at the Bottom: The world view that makes the underclass” hierdie storie vertel: (rooi woorde myne, vetdruk van woorde myne):
… it isn’t altogether surprising (hy werk met talle geweldenaars en talle geweld- slagoffers) that I can now tell at a glance—with a fair degree of accuracy—that a man is violent toward his significant other. … In truth, the clues are not particularly subtle. A closely shaven head with many scars on the scalp from collisions with broken bottles or glasses; a broken nose; blue tattoos on the hands, arms, and neck, relaying messages of love, hate, and challenge; but above all, a facial expression of concentrated malignity, outraged egotism, and feral suspiciousness—all these give the game away. Indeed, I no longer analyze the clues and deduce a conclusion: a man’s propensity to violence is as immediately legible in his face and bearing as any other strongly marked character trait.
All the more surprising is it to me, therefore, that the nurses (díé wat saam met hom werk) perceive things differently. They do not see a man’s violence in his face, his gestures, his deportment, and his bodily adornments, even though they have the same experience of the patients as I. They hear the same stories, they see the same signs, but they do not make the same judgments. What’s more, they seem never to learn; for experience—like chance, in the famous dictum of Louis Pasteur—favors only the mind prepared. And when I guess at a glance that a man is an inveterate wife beater (I use the term “wife” loosely), they are appalled at the harshness of my judgment, even when it proves right once more.
This is not a matter of merely theoretical interest to the nurses, for many of them in their private lives have themselves been the compliant victims of violent men. For example, the lover of one of the senior nurses, an attractive and lively young woman, recently held her at gunpoint and threatened her with death, after having repeatedly blacked her eye during the previous months. I met him once when he came looking for her in the hospital: he was just the kind of ferocious young egotist to whom I would give a wide berth in the broadest daylight.
Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment.
Britse verpleegsters is nie die enigste mense wat so bang is vir oordeel dat hulle liewer seerkry of hulle kinders laat seerkry nie:
– Amerika se Senaat het onlangs gestem dat gesondheidsorg nie mag weier om vir Viagra te subsideer vir iemand wat veroordelings het vir verkragting of kindermolestering nie. Jy kan self dink watter gevolge dit sal hê.
– SA se verdraagsaamheid teenoor lui en korrupte amptenare maak vir ‘n swak bestuurde land.
– Maatskaplike werkers wil klaarblyklik nie meer maklik oordele uitspreek oor mishandelende ouers nie, en los dan die mishandelde kinders nog steeds daar.
– HIer is nog voorbeelde uit Dalrymple se boek.
Ons kan seker onsself op die skouers klop. Trots oor die verdraagsame samelewings waarin ons leef. Of ons kan besef dat ons soort verdraagsaamheid seermaak. En dan besluit: Verdraagsaamheid/ nie-veroordeling is net tot op ‘n sekere punt ‘n goeie eienskap. En dat ons moderne samelewings daardie punt verbygesteek het.
Verdraagsaamheid en moenie-oordeel-nie word deesdae ‘n manier is om doodeenvoudig nie om te gee nie. Om oë toe te knyp vir die pyn van die verontregte. Want as jy erken dat iemand verontreg is, dan moet jy oordeel dat iemand onreg gepleeg het.
(Vervolg DV later: Wat die Bybel oor oordeel sê- nie so eensydig soos party mense dit maak nie. En ‘n voorstel vir ‘n meer aktief liefdevolle denkwyse.)