(Anonymous; but cf. Quintillian Institutions 10.1.20)
They condemn what they do not understand.
(pron = DAHM-nahnt kwod nohn in-TEL-leh-goont)
Comment: There is not space for all of the examples that we might give of this
little proverb (which, my source says is anonymous, but which I found a version
of in Quintillian).
This is an idea that I have encountered often in Buddhist writings—that
suffering and harm stem from ignorance. So often I see this in situations
where people have polarized on an issue. Both sides condemn the other; neither
can see or hear the other’s perspective; neither is willing. Ignorance of the
other’s view, experience and perspective makes it easier to condemn the other.
This proverb offers a simple and powerful self-test. As I prepare to condemn
someone or their idea (or write them off, dismiss them, etc) I can ask: do I
condemn because of what I do not know?
(Used with permission)
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