The Other Side of the Story - The Brinks Job

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The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

Judging favorably means finding excuses for questionable behavior, excuses which make sense to us and leave us with a positive feeling towards the person in question. When we find ourselves suspecting others, we must ask ourselves: Are there any redeeming factors? Did I miss something? Did I jump to the wrong conclusion? For instance, take the case of...

The Brinks Job

It was a rainy winter night and my friend and I were stranded in town. We had missed the last bus. Here we were getting drenched and didn't know what to do. All of a sudden we see a car coming towards us. It's nothing less than a miracle. It's my nextdoor neighbor's car! Then I thought maybe it's someone else with a car just like his. As he gets closer, I see it really is him. I said to my friend, we will soon be out of the cold rain and in my neighbor's nice heated car.

But to my surprise and dismay, he passed us right by. Maybe he didn't see us. But I was waving my hand. If his eyesight is that bad, he shouldn't be driving a car. Both my friend and I wondered how someone could be so thoughtless and cruel.

A few days later I met my neighbor, the driver. I didn't know what to say. He approached me and said that he had seen me, but he had been carrying a large sum of money uncovered for someone in the front seat of the car, and it would have been irresponsible to take in passengers or even to stop to explain.

People can't always wear a sign to explain what they are doing. It's up to us to assume that others have acted properly. It's really quite easy to do so when you realize the myriad of possibilities for excusing questionable behavior.

The Other Side of the Story Archives

Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

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