“Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad.” -Jeffrey R. Holland
So many times in life we hear something, or read something, or receive bits and pieces of information that leave room for interpretation of a situation or another person. And the instant temptation is to pass judgment. Maybe those judgments end up being right, but I think more often than not they actually end up being wrong, or too harsh, or misguided, or misinterpreted. The question is whether we too quickly assume the worst about people, rather than giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming the positive about them.
All of us have probably been guilty at times of assuming the worst at times when we hear a news story about someone or we read another’s written opinion of a person, or we hear friends or coworkers gossiping about another person – and unfortunately we sometimes assume the worst without first getting to know the person for ourselves or without researching all the facts about a person who may have passed on and we can no longer get to know them.
The fact we have all been guilty of doing this is unfortunate, because chances are we have cost ourselves the benefit of getting to know someone who may have become a best friend, or regarding people who have already passed away we may miss out on the chance to learn from their exemplary life they lived.
Ultimately when we assume the worst instead of the best I think we end up hurting ourselves more than the person we are judging. We end up limiting our ability to learn and grow and we limit the relationships that might have brought joy and happiness to our lives.
At the end of this life we will be judged in the very same fashion that we chose to judge others. That alone is motivation for me to try harder to give others the benefit of the doubt – to choose to assume the best in others and to be quicker to doubt the bad. After all, isn’t that what treating others with charity is all about? And given that I am nowhere near perfect myself I certainly hope that God has charity on me when it’s my time to be judged…heaven knows I will need it 🙂 !
“Perhaps the greatest charity comes when we are kind to each other, when we don’t judge or categorize someone else, when we simply give each other the benefit of the doubt or remain quiet. Charity is accepting someone’s differences, weaknesses, and shortcomings; having patience with someone who has let us down; or resisting the impulse to become offended when someone doesn’t handle something the way we might have hoped. Charity is refusing to take advantage of anther’s weakness and being willing to forgive someone who has hurt us. Charity is expecting the best of each other.” -Marvin J. Ashton
Have a great start to your new week everyone! Maybe even make the goal to assume the good and doubt the bad this week. I plan to!