The Best of Every Man

I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.” ~ William Butler Yeats

You are making a grave error if you love your friends and hate your enemies. Both love and hatred are powerful emotions that bind you to the object of your attention. The more you love or hate another, the closer they are to you. There are no exceptions to this rule.

If you are to uplift the world around you, you must believe the best of your friends as well as your enemies. This belief, backed by love, will tend to draw out the inherent goodness in others over time. It may not happen right away, but even the stoniest hearts will warm to your call to greatness when you prove to the skeptical heart of man that your love is not conditional, but absolute.

Judging others based on a snapshot – who they are revealing themselves to be in this particular moment – is a potentially dangerous mistake. You are wise to take the long view when thinking of your friends and enemies, one that emphasizes the possibilities and not the failures or shortcomings.

To live an uncommon life you must be willing to invest in others beyond what they’ve proven worthy of receiving while remaining open to others doing the same for you.

Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can and ought to be, and he will become as he can and should be.” ~ Goethe

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7 Responses to The Best of Every Man

  1. Mac says:

    So true! Great post, thanks.

  2. Mark Miller says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post. There is something of higher importance than lies in the realm of intense feeling, but intense feeling is what drives the outcome as to whether we make the world a better one.

  3. Chris Lentz says:

    Great quotes!

  4. Joshua says:

    I’m sure we all have some “Not so pristine moments” that if judged and held to that standard, well we know what it feels like.
    I love this new approach, for it free’s us from having to be (Judge, Jury, Executioner, and Jailor) Which can be quite a tiring excercise!!! Especially if we have more than one prisioner to attend to, which also involves us being in prison to do the attending! Purely insane! I am absolutely with you in this!
    Greatly appreciate you shining the Light of Truth on this matter,
    This is truly the key to assisting others, despite themselves!
    Thanks Gregg

  5. Kolya says:

    Absolutely agree! I have always appreciated those who have been generous to others and saw the best in them – they are a shining light in the world. Very inspirational and reminds me to give the gifts that have been given to me in this regard. This is one of those situations when “re-gifting” is a good idea 🙂

  6. Lady Leo says:

    The responsibility is to forgive and see the best in others; then genuinely let it alone. How someone receives that or if they are ever aware that it is believed they are capable of goodness and love, can’t be of concern. This is truly one of those times that man has to act and not rely on an anticipated result to feel completion.
    Thanks for the post.

  7. Colin says:

    This is one of those ideas that people talk about in a trite manner. They say “love your enemies”, but most don’t mean it. It is refreshing to see that you are encouraging the love of both friends and enemies, without the usual martyrish tendencies that sometimes go along with it. Thanks for always bringing these topics to light in ways that can be immediately acted upon!

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