The Dangers of Always Looking for the Good?
Without thinking things through carefully we might think there are no dangers in looking for the good, that it is virtuous. I understand, I made that mistake. It taught me that looking for the good can work for you or against you. It can work against you when we get out of balance and become a Polyanna. I know I did it and it cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When this “business opportunity” was presented to my husband, and me, red flags popped up. I ignored them because I wanted to see the good in everyone and criticized myself for threatening the agent with questions he couldn’t answer. Wanting to see the good in everyone I blamed myself for being too threatening with my questions and dismissed the red flags.
Had I not been out of balance in always looking for the good, I would have recognized I was about to be defrauded. The “agent” was sucking me into a…Ponzi scheme.
(The entire dramatic story … is in Rising from Ashes) Let’s think again about how we can still be virtuous without always looking for the good in people.
Here’s a better solution. Forget being good and become the observer. Observe a situation as if you were a neutral party being acutely aware of both the pros and cons being observed. Then reason with yourself using the information you have extracted from your observation. Now using the information you have gained from your observation, without judging yourself, or the situation, make a wise informed decision.
Any virtue can become a vice if it’s overdone. For me, what I thought was a virtue, always looking for good, became highly overdone, in fact it got burned to a crisp. We must keep balance in our lives. Being the observer is a healthy way to achieve balance.