Have you ever noticed how good a person everyone is when they are remembered at their funerals? Even the ones most fundamentally flawed sound like they were outstanding citizens, despite all their acknowledged faults. While attending one such challenged individual’s funeral, I wondered why we had to wait until people were dead to see them so positively? Why could we not do that while they were alive? That’s not to suggest we should ignore their flaws, especially the serious ones. No. That could be harmful to us, and it would not be helpful to them. I’m suggesting we note their good aspects as starting points when we think of them, before tacking on their flaws, instead of the other way around. It would certainly slow and reduce our rash judgment of others, of which there is far too much happening today.
In the early 1990s, I had a pen pal from Mantua, Italy, named Beatrice Lomaglio. During our correspondence, she entered into a relationship. Not yet having been in a relationship, I asked her how it had changed her life. I expected an answer of many details since I had an idea of the complexities of romantic relationship. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by her elegant answer of how she now had to think about we, rather than about me, more often since many decisions involved her and her partner now, not just her as was before. I was also surprised because English was not Bea’s first language. Yet, here was this incredibly simple, well put, and accurate response staring back at me. I still have it since I had archived all her letters.
Should you think more than twice about something you need to think about on more than one occasion? That depends on the type of person you are, and/or what that something is.