Frailty, Imperfection, Ignorance

“Never attribute malice or other deliberate decision what can be explained by human frailty, imperfection, or ignorance.”  Rabbi Harold Kushner

It does seem to be the knee jerk reaction, or at least my reaction often suggests that I attribute malice to the offender.  I fume (or worse) at the driver who cuts me off in traffic, certain this was done intentionally.  How could the other driver not see me right there in his/her blind spot?  Of course, I should find it easy to attribute the acts of other humans to “human frailty, imperfection, or ignorance” since I have displayed my share of all the above.  Still….

On this point I usually think of Eugene Peterson’s loose translation of James 1:19: “Post this at all intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.”  And, I might add”…and assume the other person is human, like you.


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