Always Assume The Best

I had to visit a friend in the hospital this past weekend. Nothing serious, but where I live people get put into the hospital for the strangest things. He was suffering from what the doctors said might be an ulcer, or just might be gastritis, but to be on the safe side, they want to keep him overnight for observation. I guess different countries  have different rules about how to act based on what is going on inside somebody. Even when they are fairly sure it’s nothing serious, the usually put you into the hospital at least overnight, just to be sure. I don’t particularly like hospitals, so whenever I have to go visit them, I have to make sure to up a big defense so I don’t’ let the sadness creep inside. I was in the elevator on the way down, happy to be leaving, when I saw somebody staring at me. He wasn’t a patient, or a doctor. I didn’t think I recognized him, but he kept staring at me.

Like this one time I was at the library in town. I had only moved here a few days ago at the time. I really like to read so I decided to go and check out the local library to see if they had any books I’d read before. And I was sitting there,and this guy kept looking at me from across the room. And had a really angry expression on his face, like I’d done something to offend him or something. I was starting to get kind of nervous, but seeing how I was in a public place, I didn’t really think he would do anything. But he just kept staring. Maybe he thought I looked like somebody that stole his milk money when he was a kid or something. Maybe he didn’t like the shirt I was wearing.

I usually don’t think such mean things about people. One of my relatives once told me that giving the other person the benefit of the doubt has two sides of the same coin. One side is to always assume that others are acting on some kind of good intentions, no matter how deep. And they are always trying their best, based on their experiences, to act on those intentions in the best way they know how. And the other side of that is that you must always assume that they have are also assuming that you are somehow acting on your best intentions. That way you’ve not only got a precedent to live up to, but when you live up to that precedent, even if it’s imaginary, you can show them a good example. So it will always work out in the end.

And it turns out the guy wasn’t even looking at me. He was looking at he guy sitting behind me. They had come together, the guy sitting behind me wanting to study, and his friend staring at him wanting to play baseball. Since they played baseball last Saturday, today was study day.

And the guy in the elevator had just heard some bad news about his cousin, so he wouldn’t’ have stared at anybody the way he was staring at me. I hope his cousin recovers.