Chap. 13: The benefit of doubt

Call me hipster or just simply skeptical, but I like to do or read things that people would normally skip over.

There are a lot of review critics out there who categorize certain books or movies as classics, or who claim one activity is better than the other.

As much as they are useful in helping us choose among the seemingly infinite number of options, I find a dose of benefit of doubt is still healthy,

For example, when I go to bookstores and I get recommended one of the popular best-sellers or classic novels, I usually have high expectations given the positive reviews. However, most of the time, I’m disappointed. The plot or message often doesn’t intrigue me.

This is why it’s so important to know yourself and to have the courage to be yourself. You need to know what interests you and just go for it without worry of judgement. Even if it means that you have to go to an old dusty antique bookstore in a dark alley way, at least you will feel excited when you immerse yourself in a world that you actually want to be in.

Another reason why the benefit of doubt is essential to your growth and curiosity (and happiness) is when people recommend you certain people. For example, in the case of students, it’s wise to be a little doubtful when other students say one professor is better than the other. I once took a class with a professor because other students told me she was amazing. But lo and behold I hated her. I almost failed the class because I didn’t like the way she was teaching. On the other hand, when I took a class with another professor who got really low ratings, I ended up actually loving them! It is truly strange how the world works.

This goes the same way when your friend decides to introduce you to people who they think would be a good friend to you. While it’s nice to meet new people (and maybe make a new friend), it’s alright to be mindful of your own judgement of this person. It’s ok to be open, keeping in mind to not fake it and assume that you have to like this person because their personality seems to align with yours.

The take home message is that you always have the right to the benefit of doubt. Own up to who you are and just do whatever floats your boat. You know yourself best and those who claim to know what’s best for you may not always be right. Take it by grain of salt 🙂 

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