On Judging Others

I was reminded, today, of a profound statement from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (d. 2008):

“Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.”  (From The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956.)

This comment is worth serious and regular reflection.

We must, it seems to me, regularly judge others.  There’s no alternative.  Should I marry her?  Should I loan him money?  Is he ready to do this alone?  Can I trust him with the car?  Should I retain him as an accountant?  Should I believe what she’s telling me?

But we’re neither empowered nor authorized to make judgments regarding final destinations.


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