Sunday, October 26, 2008

Spending too long on Question 1

I'm working through my Magistrate homework this morning. There's a workbook with nine sections I need to have completed before the formal training next month.

And I'm thinking way too much about Question 1 :-
"You have been appointed as a magistrate because you possess the six key qualities sought in a Justice of the Peace. In this box, take a moment to refresh your memory by listing the six key qualities."
The answers are in the book, so I could just have copied them and moved on. Instead in my mind I'm imagining a Cosmo-style questionaire : "So You Think You Could Be A Magistrate ?" with a multiple-choice quiz and points to add up and a write-up on what your score means.

The six qualities are as follows :-
  • Good character
  • Understanding & communication
  • Social awareness
  • Maturity & sound temperament
  • Sound judgement
  • Commitment & reliability
I'm not at all convinced that anyone really measures up to that list, although I'm definitely going to be including them in my CV because they do look rather impressive while being all but impossible to prove.

Take Jesus, for example - full marks for points 1,2, 3 and especially 6 but there was that unfortunate incident with the money lenders in the temple and choosing Judas as a disciple definitely didn't demonstrate sound judgement.

"Social Awareness" is definitely an area that worries me. My upbringing was loving, I did well at school, I went to a nice University and ended up funding a comfortable suburban lifestyle. Can I really think myself into the shoes of someone born into poverty and abuse and addiction that led on to a life of petty criminality ? And to what extent does it matter if I can't ? How can a Magistrate possibly be both (a) representative of their community of imperfect people whilst (b) being a paragon of virtue themselves ?

Anyway, all this thinking was hurting my head, and I had move it along or else I'd never get anything done, so I decided to give myself marks out of 10 for each of the 6 categories based on gut feel and instinct. I ended up with 46 out of 60, which allowing for modesty, arrogance and imperfect self-knowledge feels about right.

How well did you do ?

Less than 40 points - Put your hands in the air, or we'll shoot!
40 to 50 points - You show some human qualities and many human failings. You might just make the grade.
Over 50 - Forget the magistracy; go straight to sainthood, Reverend Mother.

Now for question 2 ... this could take some time ...

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