Daily Meditation #212–9/22/2022
There are two sides to everything — or more.
Even the ancient Bible speaks of this in various interpretations in Proverbs 18:17:
“Those who plead the case first seem to be in the right; then the opponent comes and cross-examines them” in the NABRE edition.
Or, “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines” in the NIV.
We are quite certain we agree with most people when they complain to us about things happening to them.
Someone said “something mean.”
They overheard someone gossiping about them.
A nasty message was sent their way.
They are our friend, so we feel compelled to side with them. And perhaps it is “the right thing to do” or perhaps they even are correct and things were unwarranted.
But, just as the Good Book says — there really are two sides to every story.
While we ought to be empathetic, always, we must lean into truth, no matter how painful it is. You can agree with your loved ones, but should be aware there is going to be “more to the story,” as they say.
You don’t need to investigate each quarrel or every word — but understand: you nor those you love are perfect and in some cases may have even “had it coming!”
Simply be understanding and balanced, internally, while you practice good listening. And, if your relationship is strong and they are emotionally intelligent, perhaps even invite them to place themselves into others’ shoes.
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These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”