The Daily Stoic for October 15th, “Give People The Benefit Of The Doubt”.
“Everything turns on your assumptions about it, and that’s on you. You can pluck out the hasty judgment at will, and like steering a ship around the point, you will find calm seas, fair weather and a safe port.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 12.22”
There’s an old saying in Spain: “Piensa mal y acertarás” (Assume malice and you’ll be right). What this saying affirms is that most things that happen, especially bad things, are not accidents, but intentional acts.
Conversely, today’s stoic meditation asks us to always consider them innocent or unintentional events unless proven otherwise.
Give People The Benefit Of The Doubt
I loved “Lord of the flies”, mainly because of the story -it was certainly engaging- but also because it confirmed most of my points of view on mankind. The “we are evil by nature” opinion. Thus, I find it hard to apply this generous assumption of considering every act as innocent or unintentional.
My partner is my personal Yang. He always tries to justify someone’s acts, or assume they were not motivated by hatred or malice.
Every time we talk about something and he offers me his particular view of things, I always think that I would love to see things the way he does. That bright point of view has to have an influence on how you see the world and interact with it.
However, I’m not sure that’s something we are capable of doing, or it’s something intrinsic to our nature. Can I start looking at things differently? Can I stop being a skeptic or a pessimistic?
I will definitely try, but deep inside, I am convinced that the way we see the world is very difficult to change that easily.
Today’s Daily Stoic, “Give People The Benefit Of The Doubt”, ask us to look at the world differently, not making assumptions about the malice of others. I think changing the way we see the world so strongly is quite difficult, to be honest.