Presume Goodwill {Mantra 12}

We can’t control what other people do.

And neither can we accurately explain why people do what they do.

We don’t know what others are thinking. Or how they’re feeling.

Sometimes we might make a good guess. But not always. And never for certain.

Instead, if we’re guessing anyway, can we assume the best of them instead of the worst?

Presume goodwill.

We often do it for ourselves. If I act up, it’s just because “I’ve been under a lot of pressure” or “I’m really tired.”

But if you do the same thing, I might think, “You’re just mean.”

It’s called the Fundamental Attribution Error [read more about it here, “You’re Bad, But I’m Just Stressed”].

And it’s a dangerous bias. We never have all the facts. Prematurely judging each other is harmful.

On the other hand, it’s a big boost to my confidence when someone assumes the best of me, even when my words or actions might be in question.

If they assume my intent was good, I feel secure and loved.

Can I do that for others?

Jeff and I often remind each of this pact we’ve made: Assume the best.

It prevents a few arguments when we remember to put it into practice.

Erring on the side of grace makes for healthier relationships.

When God gives grace to us (which God gives us daily), we can pass it along to others.

Presume goodwill. 


Is it hard or easy for you to assume the best of others? Share in the comments.

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You are on Day #12 of the series: Find Your Mantra {28 Daily Mantras}

Find Your Mantra: 28 Daily Mantras

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“Take one step” {Mantra 11}

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Focus on the highest good” {Mantra 13}

4 thoughts on “Presume Goodwill {Mantra 12}

  1. Anita Ojeda

    Oh, I need to work on this one! All too often, I presume the worst (usually when it’s someone I don’t really enjoy spending time with or find difficult). But I’m sure not everyone likes me, and I DO appreciate it when people don’t read more into my actions than they should!

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