Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"Assume Good Faith"

I carry a pocket notebook* in which I jot down random ideas, quotes I've heard, ideas for blog posts, things we need to pick up on the next trip to the grocery, etc. I also have two notebooks and a blotter on my desk in the study for the same purpose. Every once in a while I go back and page through the notebooks and old blotter pages to see what I wanted to remember and think about why I was inspired to write it down.

In the middle of a page of one of the old notebooks I read through the other day was this phrase:

The page is undated, so I don't know when I jotted it down, and because it has quotes around it, I must have found it written somewhere or overheard it in conversation.

"Assume good faith" is a nice idea, but nowadays it doesn't seem like a very good assumption.

It's hard to assume good faith when a president rails about "fake news" ... and then goes ahead and does exactly what was reported.

It's hard to assume good faith when some Members of Congress put party loyalty over discovering the truth about threats to our democracy.

It's hard to assume good faith when our children who have been the victims of school shootings and are demonstrating against the easy availability of deadly weapons are insulted and demonized rather than listened to.

It's hard to assume good faith when a police officer blatantly lies in court about the circumstances surrounding a traffic stop**.

I'd like to be able to assume good faith, but I'm a man of experience ... and recent experience on many fronts has led me to assume good faith only on the part of those I most trust.

There are fewer of those all the time.

Have a good day. Assume good faith at your own risk. More thoughts tomorrow.


* So did Leonardo da Vinci. I'm in good company!

** But it's better than being shot.


John Hill said...

I'm more inclined to "trust, but verify."

Mike said...

Since the police are allowed to lie to you to get information from you, they get good at lying.

Mike said...

And then I found this...
“Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” New York City police officer Pedro Serrano told the New York Times. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”

allenwoodhaven said...

Jimmy Carter has a book out about faith. Heard part of an interview with him. He makes the point that we individually have faith in many things; these can potentially vary but typically include faith in our spouse, mother, father, siblings, friends, coworkers, country, church, or justice. He did add that it's more difficult these days...