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The Benefit Of The Doubt


Compassion leads us to, instead of being angry or feeling insulted whenever, 
for instance, a clerk or cab driver seems rude, to extend the benefit of the 
doubt about why he or she is crabby or apparently spoiling for a fight.

Understanding that that person might have heard frightening news, might have 
just lost a relative, or may have just been reminded of someone who looked 
like you who had been unkind to that person in the past will allow you to 
benefit from your own doubt.

By leaving this matter open, by taking a deep breath, relaxing, and pondering 
that person�s life, and giving compassion rather than anger, the benefit 
is mainly your own.

Your own health will benefit, and you may profit by turning what might have 
been a bad situation into o ne rather of comradery or even congeniality.

o nce i was standing in line at a bookstore, and seemed so impatient to the 
clerk that she took offense and was determined to make me suffer by being 
cruel and maddeningly slow. I crumbled, began to cry- very uncharacteristically 
� and blurted out, �my relative is dying at the hospital and I�m 
buying the books he�d ordered for months ago, and he needs them now, 
and you�re trying to make me late! I need to be with him!!!�

Immediately, she transformed, melted, into a picture of compassion and became 
instead of my enemy, my helper.

Not everyone will blurt out the truth or crumble at a check-out counter.

Not everyone�s sorrow is as immediate, but everyone o n the planet has 
reasons to be less than happy.

Next time, give the other person this benefit of the doubt.

You will always benefit.

Your health, your soul, your mood will benefit.

And o ne day, the shoe will doubtless be o n the other foot.

Do unto others.

Also see AngerFix