Sometimes the Truth is hard to see
There is a story I want to tell. It hasn't really happened like this, but it might get the point I want to make across.
It is a beautiful autumn afternoon on a saturday and you are walking through the busy streets of the city. There are many shops to the left and right, but you do not look at them, keeping an eye forward. A man runs past you and suddenly you hear a slightly elder woman scream: "He stole my wallet!" She points in your general direction.
It makes click in your head and you turn, pursuing the man that ran past you. Clearly enough he is holding a wallet in his hand. You catch up to him, hold him down, call the police and hand the wallet to the woman. All the while the man is protesting that the wallet is his, but you do not listen. It is common that there are thieves that steal from elder women ... right?
Let's go a step back and change a little detail.
It is a windy afternoon on a saturday and you are walking through the busy streets of the city. There are many shops to the left and right, and you look into the window of one, the clothing there interesting you. While you study the prices, you hear a woman scream "He stole my wallet!" You look at her and she points in your general direction. You see a man running past you and you realize that he has to be the one she meant, as he is carrying a wallet at that time. You give chase and get him, holding him down. He insists that the wallet is his. You realize that there is a way to find out: You ask him for his name and look into the wallet. There are documents and credit cards with his name inside - and it couldn't be her name ...
So was she the one that wanted to get you to steal a wallet for her? Some women are cunning and could use the clishee of the feeble girl to their advantage ... right?
Let me tell you what really happened: It was a cloudy saturday afternoon. The elder woman was shopping on the street, already carrying a bag with clothes. She usually holds the wallet in her hand, as she is wary of thieves - one had stolen from her in the past on a vacation - but after the last shoping trip, she had put it into her bag, carrying it there.
A young man runs through the street, he is late for the train, but might get it in time, if he keeps that speed. He is snaking through the masses, holding his wallet in his hand, prepared to buy a ticket on the vending machine - since he forgot that, too. He looks on the street signs to see, if he needs to turn on this corner or the next, and bumps into the woman. Without saying anything, he keeps running.
The woman now realizes that she isn't carrying her wallet in her hand anymore and doesn't think back, turning, pointing him out as the thief ...
Sometimes it can be hard to get the full picture, especially when you only hear one side of the story. Only if you hear both you might be able to piece the truth together - and that is when both are already speaking the truth. Those rushing in to help, after an argument has come up, should always consider listening to both sides, lest they might make a wrong decision and put an innocent in jail or yell at an elder woman who is completely innocent.