Benefit of Doubt


Cambridge defines the phrase as “believing someone even though I am not sure that what he/she is saying is true”.

In recent days this has really helped me forgive people and myself for failing to meet expectations due to double standard reasons. Today, many of my friends were supposed to go cross country, meaning the rest of the day they will spend relaxing. However, it got cancelled, meaning that today is a free day. I jioed them to go biking, and I used a PM Duty Off for it. Everyone else had other plans to study. But wait a minute—shouldn’t today be a free day?

I guess when they learnt the news they switched gears and replaced plans to relax with plans to study. How true this is is beyond me, since I personally feel they simply don’t prioritize one another to be intentional or available. Yet, I’m deciding to give them the benefit of doubt, by assuming they are true, even though the inner skeptic in me has more plausible theories otherwise. I hope they give me the benefit of doubt in this area too, especially when I turn against my own words.

In doing so, I definitely feel happier, even if it means taking the words of others less seriously and holding them less accountable to them. I’m less suspicious of others and way less miserable. I’m still going to enjoy my afternoon off for biking, so that hopefully will turn out well too.

Another incident was the document crisis. On Friday my big boss called and asked me the whereabouts of a missing classified document that he personally passed me. Either I took the document and passed it to Registry, or shredded it by accident. I didn’t remember the former, but I did remember shredding something. Thus, I’m screwed. Big time. On Monday I told my immediate boss what happened, and as we tried to backtrack the series of events, the PA came in and found the document lying on my big boss’ tray.

I really should have given myself the benefit of doubt to realise a plausible third option—my big boss actually holding on to the classified document and settling it on his own, actually forgetting that he was holding it.

Therefore, one way to be happier on oneself is to give benefit of doubt—to self and others. Love keeps no records of wrongs, so pray along with me to grow in this area, to forgive and have the boldness to forget.

—Joel Kindiak, 1 March 2017, 1234H

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Author: joelkindiak

Build people up. Point them to Christ.

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