Judging by the cover
It’s an easy fault, and we all have done it: judging the book by the cover – making assumptions without bothering to find out what the real story is, or who the person is we’re slagging aloud or in our thoughts – often without even bothering to talk to the person we are judging so self-righteously, to hear what they have to say. When it is a public figure, we may not have the opportunity to speak with that person directly, and so must assess what we see without the benefit of a conversation, but when we are slandering or judging a person whom we know or have met, we have no such excuse.
Assumptions are dangerous; and as the saying goes, they tend to make an ass of both you and me. Careful about assumptions – much damage can be done based on mistaken impressions and foregone conclusions. When in doubt, give the benefit of the doubt – especially if you were not there, and have also never bothered to discuss the issue with the person you are attacking.
I am prone to errors, as everyone is, and I have made many. I can say this however: I have always sought to live with compassion, kindness, gentleness and justice, to every extent of my ability; and I would also say this: in the recent debacle that I witnessed, I made every effort to honour all commitments, from the beginning to the end, and did all I could to make the situation mutually beneficial for all involved. I would also say directly, I made no serious ethical breaches, but only errors in judgment: the only serious judgment error being the error of being too soft when a greater firmness would potentially have healed the entire situation and brought all involved a great happiness. HIndsight is 20-20, as they say. I will take the lessons from the experiences of the recent past, and apply them as best I can, to continue to work for the benefit of all, to every extent of my power. Of course, the cynical may scoff, as they tend generally to do, but cynics do not accomplish things in the world – at least, nothing meaningful or truly positive, so their sneering makes no difference.
As Teddy Roosevelt said, those who stand back and criticize are not the ones who make a difference, and these cold and timid souls are not the movers of positive change (paraphrasing).