The Other Side of the Story - The Practicing Doctor and His Prescription Slip

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

The Other Side of the Story - Giving People the Benefit of the Doubt

If we see someone stumble, we shouldn’t judge him until we have been in the same situation and successfully passed that test. Until then, we have no right to judge.

Sometimes we feel we lack the tools to judge others favorably. We see no possible excuse for certain behavior.

We can challenge these thoughts and prove how talented we can be in inventing excuses for others by seeing how well we do it for ourselves. Take, for example, the case of ...

The Practicing Doctor
and His Prescription Slip

The telephone rang at our pharmacy. It was the doctor. He demanded to know why the pharmacist had dispensed medication different than the one he had prescribed. The pharmacist apologized, but the doctor continued with a lengthy speech as to how important it is to dispense what was prescribed, responsibility to the public, etc.

Afterwards, the pharmacist sifted through the pile of prescriptions to find the relevant prescription. To her surprise, she discovered she had indeed dispensed what had been prescribed! It was the doctor who had erred: He had written the wrong item by mistake. She rang the doctor and explained the situation.

"Oh, well, anyone can make a mistake," was his casual reply.

When we care about someone, it is surprising how easy it is to justify their behavior — or at least to reserve judgment. Suddenly we become very creative and imaginative. We tap intellectual and emotional strengths we didn’t know were there.

Let’s not waste these excuses! Let’s notice the excuses we make for ourselves, and then use them to make others look good. That’s real love, loving others kamocha — like yourself — caring about others the way you care about yourself.


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Based on "The Other Side of the Story" by Mrs. Yehudis Samet, ArtScroll Series

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