Seeing the Good Before Pronouncing Judgment on the Bad

(Another in the series of quotes to start the week.)

In an essay on Goethe, Scottish philosopher and writer Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) wrote,

We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.

I like that. Very few people are so reprehensible as to have no good qualities, and when we concentrate so fully on the bad that we ignore the good, it is a very short step indeed to denying the good altogether.

Many of us diehard partisans who snipe incessantly at Presidents or public figures of any kind would do well to take that to heart. That is, if what we are seeking is “right judgment” as opposed to, simply, judgment.

Mahatma Gandhi I look only to the good qualities of men. Not being faultless myself, I won't presume to probe into the faults of others
(Mahatma Gandhi quote image by BK, on Flickr under Creative Commons.)

Something to think about. Have a great week!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *