Giving the benefit of the doubt. That’s a weird phrase but it works in explaining what to do in certain situations so as to maintain my peace of mind. Doubts apparently can have some benefits. GOD is steadily delivering and recovering me from being a pre-judger of people! One of the tools HE has equipped with me is giving people the benefit of the doubt to explain their actions so I can keep my cool hat on.
I have practised this for quite a while now that it’s almost my default response when I’m tempted to move someone over to the dark side by their (in)actions that rub me the wrong way. For example, if while driving someone overtakes or undertakes me in a dangerous manner, I’ll almost straight away think that maybe the person’s wife is in labour and they are rushing to get home. That I’ll probably do the same if I were in their shoes. (I wonder why I think those drivers are male, maybe because of the men in whose cars I’ve ridden! You know yourselves!)
Image credit: Quotepedia
Another doubt benefit is that maybe they really need to use the toilet so they need to get to one real quick!
The flip side of this loading of benefits to others is that I get some really funny explanations as to why things may happen the way they have. For example, over the summer while I was Home, I left my car with a family from church to help me warm the battery so it doesn’t go flat on my return to England.
On my drive home after I walked to pick up the car, while looking through the rear-view mirror at the cars behind me, it looked like their lights were dimmed. I thought it was a one-off but then I noticed quite a few cars’ lights were dimmed. Now it was already dark, so people should have their full lights on. At least that’s what I was taught!
Guess what doubt benefit I gave them?
. . . That maybe DVLA (the driving agency in UK) had changed the rules and so I needed to update myself! Haha . . . It was later I realised that because the man that helped keep my car battery charged was taller than me, he had adjusted the rear-view mirror. So from my sitting position, the mirror was only seeing the reflection of the cars’ lights on the inside roof of the car, not through the back windshield directly! I had to laugh at myself when I realised that!
Another example, when I have to speak to a secretary or PA or receptionist and they are not polite, I just excuse them that maybe their husbands did not give them money for food before leaving the house that morning so they’re excusably annoyed and taking it out on me.
The beauty about being able to give the benefit of the doubt to people especially to those with whom you walk, work or live closely, is that you keep most of your peace with you and don’t exchange it for drama, irritation and annoyance. Sometimes, it just saves you the mental energy trying to explain why they acted the way they did towards you.
It’s almost like excusing them but what does that matter if their actions or lack of towards you does not affect the price of tomatoes in the market? If it doesn’t, a new theory I’m trying to live by is that neither should it affect my peace. Once someone’s actions towards me starts affecting the price of tomatoes or even potatoes then something drastic needs to be done, or else, oga abi aunty, park well! Ain’t nobody gat time for that! Can I get an Amen?
To your keeping your peace and joy, . . .