Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the rest of the story

So many stories I read in the paper, see on the internet, or hear on the news tug at my heartstrings or make me angry.

But, I often wonder about the rest of the story. What else was going on that we don't know about?

For example, the paper this morning reported on an orchestra concert where the conductor stopped the performance not once but twice because he could hear noise. He accused people of bring children to the performance (no one under 8 was allowed) and then asked the offender to leave. It turns out the "offender" was a man with a mental disability. This made the audience angry and they yelled at the conductor.

This conductor could have saved himself some grief if he'd known "the rest of the story". I would expect a different reaction had he known it was a man with a mental disability rather than thinking it was a rule-breaker.

Maybe the audience members needed the rest of the story as well. Had this conductor gotten in trouble in the past for allowing noise during his concerts? Had audience members complained in prior performances?

We just don't know.

Too often I find myself guilty of judging before I know the whole story. I will admit to some sympathetic feelings for Joe Paterno when he was fired in the Penn State sex scandal. However, as more and more of the story came out, my sympathetic feelings changed to outrage over a man who did very little to protect innocent children.

Is there still more of the story? Probably. (Do I want to hear it? not really but that's beside the point)

So many other examples. So much judgment, anger, and condemnation. Maybe misplaced, mistaken, misunderstood.

If only I could learn to tame my feelings until I was certain I had "the rest of the story".

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