giving context not prescriptions

Why we seek some understanding...not just advice....
Sometimes when we're working with a tenant around a specific problem we're tempted to say "do this"  and I know that I get impatient with lawyers who say "one the one hand... and on the other hand..." but giving context is important.  Many of our program participants who THINK they understand "their rights" are inclined to adopt rigid ideas about how rights work.   This is underscored by recent study with a provocative title "Extreme Political Attitudes May Stem from an Illusion of Understanding" reported in Science Daily. The basic premise of the study is that fundamentalist positions ("right is right") arise from the belief that rights exist INDEPENDENT of facts and processes.  Take free speech, for instance, and the common sense notion that, despite the first amendment you are not allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded theater.

Helping program participants understand how rights work in real life and the balances between competing "rights" can help prevent errors and misunderstandings based on a naive view of the world of law.  The summary of the study says:  "The research suggests that people may hold extreme policy positions because they are under an illusion of understanding -- attempting to explain the nuts and bolts of how a policy works forces them to acknowledge that they don't know as much about the policy as they initially thought."

One example is "knock and enter".  Yes.  Landlord Tenant Law says a landlord may enter a tenants unit after giving a 24 hour notice, except in case of emergency...but the law also says (in two different locations that entry must be at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner and that a tenant is obliged to permit "reasonable" requests for entry.  (PS:  this issue is one that both landlords and tenants get wrong in BOTH pre and post tests when i do training and after I have explained the context).

Giving the context, rather than "advice" to a program participant helps the program participant solve the problem from a practical standpoint.  

PS:  the need to provide context rather than answers is another reason that forming a helping relationship (not just a casual phone encounter) is a critical step in the helping process.

Your thoughts?