DeeperEngagedfor Social Impact

Day 11_Benefit of the Doubt

Start:Dec 07, 2022

Duration:10 Minutes

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the proficiency to separate fact from fiction. (Perception vs. Reality).

Description: 'Perception' guides trekkers in being able to separate fact from fiction in situations that typically trigger strong emotions, offering ways ... Read More


Step 1

Hi there! Glad you're back!

Hey, we were wondering about something. Have you seen anything on social media recently that made you realize someone - or maybe a lot of people - were crossing the line in the way they were treating someone?

Step 2

That 'crossing the line' part - being unnecessarily rude or aggressive - is something we want to discuss today.

Have you ever been the target of someone's poor opinion in social media, at work or school, and a lot of people piled on without knowing the facts?

What happened and how did it make you feel?

Step 3

Have you done something like that to someone else either on social media or in person?

Step 4

How did you feel afterwards?

Step 5

What do you think the other person felt like?

Step 6

When we unload on someone, going beyond the bounds of dignity, it hurts. Even more sad is that nobody makes a valid point because all the other person can feel is shame, anger or distress.

Nothing good comes of it. So why do it?

What are your thoughts about that?

Step 7

Perception. Reality.

When we feel the urge to go after someone publicly in a hostile way or when we're tempted to 'ghost' them because we believe other people's accusations, then that's your cue that something is way off.

Take a deep breath.

Slow down your emotions.

Curb the adrenaline.

Get the facts.

How often do you believe the accusations of a crowd of angry people - either in person or on social media - because so many of them joined in to eviscerate someone with their hostile words?

Step 8

How likely do you think it is that the situation is just a pile on, a free for all, herd mentality?

Step 9

There have been countless individuals who have suffered needlessly because they were blamed falsely or because of something that was said or done that was taken out of context.

Others may have some degree of accountability, but no one is looking to hear the whole story.

The mob just keeps piling on until someone gets hurt.

Does that sound like justice to you?

Step 10

When you see something on social media, see a video or hear about someone getting piled on, here's a way to approach the situation to avoid unnecessary drama and injustice: the person is innocent until proven guilty.

Guilt is proven objectively, not by loud angry 'witnesses', gossip or slander. Guilt is proven only when the full story has been brought to light and the facts weighed objectively.

If the person is innocent or being brutally treated for a trivial reason, then you can be the one who stops the nonsense.

Each of us is innocent until proven guilty. Treat others the same way you'd want to be treated if the situation were reversed.

'Others' means people who may be exactly like you or very different from you. They still deserve the benefit of the doubt. They still deserve to be treated with dignity.

Perception is not reality. It's perception.

How willing are you to give others the benefit of the doubt when they're being publicly ridiculed by others?

Step 11

Let's go one step further.

Is the issue any of your business?

Do we really have a right to judge other people since we're far from perfect in how we treat ourselves and others?

Why not move on? Save your fight for a worthy cause. And when you choose to fight, fight fair.

What do you think about that?

Step 12

Today, when someone says or does something that initially offends you, give them the benefit of the doubt.

Rather than piling on, ask them what they meant.
Ask for their side of the story.
Ask how they came to think this way.
Hear them out even if you don't agree.

Here's something groundbreaking: thank them for giving their side.

If you don't agree, you can say so respectfully. Then off you go. Let it drop. On to another thing, something that doesn't provoke you or make you feel all knotted up inside.

You could be a trendsetter, a leader. It takes courage, but it's honest and fair.

Are you willing?

Step 13

To catch a visual of this concept - maybe an extreme visual - go to the video icon to see how Doc Holliday in the film, 'Tombstone,' handled intimidation.

Let us know what you thought about the clip when you've finished.

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