Editorials by Robert Kirwan

Never Expect A Soft Landing When You Jump to Conclusions…  
   Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you jumped to a conclusion about someone, only to find out later that you were wrong? Embarrassing, isn’t it? Read the following story and see if you have ever found yourself in a similar situation:

   One night there was a woman at the airport who had to wait for several hours before catching her next flight. While she waited she bought a book and a bag of cookies to eat to help her spend the time. She looked for a place to sit and waited.
   She was deep into her book, when suddenly she realized that there was a young man sitting next to her who was stretching his hand, with no concern whatsoever, and taking cookies from the bag which was lying between them. He started to eat them one by one. Not wanting to make a fuss about it she decided to ignore him.
   The woman, slightly bothered, began to eat the cookies and watched the clock, while the young and shameless cookie thief was also finishing them. The woman started to get really angry at this point and thought "If I wasn't such a good and educated person, I would have given this daring man a black eye by now."
   And so it continued. Every time she ate a cookie, he had one too. The dialogue between their eyes continued and when only one biscuit was left, she wondered what he was going to do. Softly and with a nervous smile, the young man grabbed the last cookie and broke it in two. He offered one half to the woman while he ate the other half. Briskly she took the cookie and thought, "What an insolent man! How uneducated! He didn't even thank me!"
   She had never met anybody so bold and heaved a sigh of relief when her flight was announced. She grabbed her bags and went towards the boarding gate refusing to look back to where that insolent thief was seated. 
   After boarding the plane and and being nicely seated, she looked for her book which was nearly finished by now. While looking into her bag she was totally surprised to find her nearly full package of cookies.
   "If my cookies are here", she thought feeling terribly, "those others were his and he was sharing them with me." Too late to apologize to the young man, she realized with pain, that it was her who had been insolent, uneducated and a thief, and not him.
   How many times in our own lives, have we been absolutely, positively certain that we were right about something, only to discover later that it wasn’t true? How often have we accused someone else of taking our keys, breaking a dish, losing an item, or moving something, only to discover that we were actually the guilty one and had a momentarily lapse of memory?   

   How many times have we found ourselves in a situation similar to the lady in the story, where we have judged another person unfairly because of some misinformation or because we have relied upon the opinion of others.
   That is why we should always think twice before we judge others.  Don’t just jump to conclusions unless you are absolutely positive that there is no way you could be mistaken. It is very humiliating to have to admit that you have wrongly accused another individual, especially when you are the guilty party. Worse, when you are in the process of accusing that person, you sometimes say things that will never be forgotten and which will forever damage your future relationship.  Sometimes it is hard to forgive and forget.
   So let's always give others the benefit of the doubt before we think badly of them. And definitely give others the benefit of the doubt before we “say” anything about them. It is always better to be silent, and keep your judgments and opinions to yourself, just in case you discover the truth later on.
   Have a good week!

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