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Learned Student, Honest.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The benefit of the doubt

Life lesson and reminder #2705

Some thing I've learned, packaged in diverse lesson plans throughout my life, is to give people the benefit of the doubt.

the benefit of the doubt: a favorable judgment granted in the absence of full evidence.

In relationships of all kinds, it’s easy to forget that “nobody is perfect.”

Nobody is perfect; that shouldn't be much of a surprise, right?  However, many interpersonal conflicts could be resolved or at least de-magnified if we remembered this often.  If we remembered this tenet, we would be slow to make judgments, condemnations; basically assume the worst.  In other words, we treat people as if they were perfect beings and when something happens to contradict that, we forget that we are not perfect beings.

In line with the reason for the Christmas season, there's only one perfect person that's ever been created and we mark His birth in a couple weeks. He is seated at the right Hand of the Father, right now! No one presently alive has physically seen Him as a man. That is Jesus. *cue Revelation Song*

With that said, if we remember that "nobody is perfect," forgiving becomes much more second nature, as it should be for Christians.

So my two cents with this post are:

First, in personal relationships: family, friendships, etc. when you feel wronged or when you would assume the worst based on someone’s actions or statements, just give the person the benefit of the doubt. Don’t jump to conclusions from your assumptions.  More times than not, you learn that your assumptions are actually inaccurate, once you eventually receive the explanation you ask for (key phrase: "ask for" read: communication).

Just stop and think, is this person who you once called friend, brother or what have you, willfully trying to be malicious? More times than not, I think, it is not the case.  I highly doubt that a person you (wisely/willingly) held in close quarters would be willfully malicious or intentionally seek to "stab you in the back" (not talking about work relationships though, see below). I know the heart of man is desperately wicked but in these instances, I just don't think people you've let into your inner circle would just snap, (save any psychological issues, God forbid).

There’s probably just a misunderstanding that you ought to clear up. This clearing up involves, giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, intentional communication, and forgiving, regardless of the outcome. Also note, the other person may not have the same idea of forgiveness as you but that doesn't [shouldn't] change your duty or response.

Yes, you also have a duty...

Oddly enough, today someone referenced a Lecrae tweet, which he originally tweeted on July 15, 2012!.....!!!!.....!!!!!!! That's my birthday!!! Get out! lol

I’m noticing more and more that I’m giving people of the benefit of the doubt and it feels great, feels free.  I think I get it from my mom, who always chooses to see the good side of people. And also from an understanding that there are always so many facts and perceptions to one story.  Uncovering every fact would be the only just way to get to the bottom of an issue.

So for me, I'm focusing on the good side of people, not really being consumed with the facts though (I mean who really has time for that, life is too short for all that, I'm on a mission), and just forgiving quickly. (read: Nike slogan: just do it. *shrug*) How much does it cost you to hold on to something? BUT, how much is it worth. It's not worth it. Love keeps no records of wrongs. 

Forgiving as I was forgiven, Merry Christmas to me.

End note

On another (professional setting) note, someone, (I’ll call them a more experienced practitioner), told me this recently regarding our line of work, (and someone told this to that person): always assume [someone on the other side] is lying just a little bit.

Since I’m relatively new to the full-time work scene, I can’t comment much on that, but it sounded like a good piece of advice, as an encouragement to ask more questions; the harder questions, the deeper questions, in an investigation.  

Although, ironically, in my field, typically, you’re innocent until proven guilty. *shrug* Then again, maybe that "innocent until proven guilty" tenet is mainly relevant in the courts of criminal law... maybe it's not even really relevant there! :-o Another post for another day.

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