How you doing Pogue?
Listen. The other day I was asked for an opinion. I listened as the situation was described to me and then asked what I believed was the correct thing to do. I added what I was told to what I already knew, weighed the information and offered my opinion. At the time I believed I had been fair in my assessment of things trying to avoid bias or allow emotions to cloud my judgement.
A little later I found myself receiving additional information, details that would have caused me to altered slightly my initial opinion. Then as time passed and the situation evolved I watched how the decision taken began to affect other people, like ripples on a pond gradually moving out. Again, had I been able to foresee this I may have modified my initial opinion.
Point is, I acted on all the information that I had when I offered an opinion. I didn’t rush into it and I did give due consideration. I stood back from myself to try and ensure that my emotions were not skewing things. And don’t we all do this? Find ourselves in a place where we need to make a judgement, a choice, and we act out of the best information available to us in the moment? But as time, the great teacher, moves on more details arrive and things change. The picture becomes bigger, the view further reaching.
So what are we to do?
Do we forsake the giving of judgements, opinions and advice? Is it the case that being right in the moment we will always risk being wrong in time? Are we doomed to forever be found uttering “If only I had known that”?
Pogue, we do the best we can with what we have. But we guard our offering to ensure that it is clothed in kindness, free from judgement and flavoured with acceptability, as much as possible, so everyone can partake. At the same time we must be mindful of listening to our conscience, God’s umpire, so what we say causes us not walk away with concern and discomfort that is not ours to carry.
If you have to delay to collect wider details do so. Don’t be rushed. Advice given can be a precious thing. Don’t be glib with it, rather see the value.
I am guessing we’ll never act with all the information to hand but let’s strive not to invite regret when we act from what we do have.
Yours, further colouring my picture,