Don’t Be Quick To Judge

When I was in college a professor of logic shared a story with our class to illustrate that we need to withhold judgment until we have all of the facts. As you read the story see if you can figure out what really happened in the dark tunnel. Here is the story:

During World War II, a general and his aide, a lieutenant, were traveling from one base to another. They were forced to travel with civilians aboard a passenger train. They found their compartment where two woman who were already seated--an attractive young lady and her unattractive grandmother. For most of the trip, they conversed freely. The train entered a long and very dark tunnel. Once inside the tunnel, the passengers in this particular car heard two distinct sounds--the first was the smack of a kiss; the second was the loud sound of a slap.

Now, although these four people were in the same compartment aboard the passenger train, they came to four differing perspectives. The young lady thought how glad she was that the young lieutenant got up the courage to kiss her, but she was somewhat disappointed at her grandmother for slapping him for doing it; the general thought to himself how proud he was of his young lieutenant for being enterprising enough to find this opportunity to kiss the attractive young lady but was flabbergasted that she slapped him instead of the lieutenant; the grandmother was flabbergasted to think that the young lieutenant would have the gall to kiss her granddaughter, but was proud of her granddaughter for slapping him for doing it;

And the young lieutenant was trying to hold back the laughter, for he found the perfect opportunity to kiss an attractive young girl and slap his superior officer all at the same time!

I have found that many of us not only misjudge situations but we often judge other people. H. Burke Peterson said: “Perhaps a supreme form of charity may be exhibited by one who withholds judgment of another’s acts or conduct, remembering that there is only one who can look into the heart and know the intent--and know the honest desires found therein. There is only one whose right it is to judge the success of another’s journey through life.” (Ensign, May 1981, p. 81.)




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