Thought: ‘You can never know enough about someone to judge him.’
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It is the job of a court of law to understand fully the circumstances of an event and the actions people took. For all the care that is usually taken, the appeals procedure demonstrates just how often even they still get it wrong.
By contrast, all of us frequently rush into judgement on people with little or no knowledge of their character or circumstances. We rarely have any evidence for what is really going on beyond hearsay or what we quickly glimpsed.
The sad legend of Beth Gelert teaches a good lesson:
Prince Llewelyn returns from hunting to find his baby son missing, the contents of the cot scattered and his dog covered in blood. In anguished fury he slays the pet. Only then does he hear the whimpering of the child and discovers him under his blankets, safe and well beside the body of the wolf from which which the dog had saved him.
We should all be less hasty to judge others, remembering how hard it is to find the facts and understand them fully.
Those who face the challenges of addiction to alcohol or drugs or anything else are all too familiar with, and sensitive to the opinions others form. But we should be less bothered when we are judged by people who neither know nor understand and who, in any case, are never in a position to throw the first stone.
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