“I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is I believe too little yielding – certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.”
Thus spake Fitzwilliam Darcy, through the pen of Jane Austen.
It’s a speech which resonates with me, fitting as it does my own temperament – I would hope that I am not quite so unwilling to forgive as Mr. Darcy, and certainly I am happy to admit and apologise when I find I’ve been wrong about someone; but in truth I don’t often misjudge folk.
Internet forums (fora?) are a difficult arena, though. It’s so easy to misread a post and to form a negative opinion of the author, based on just a few words. And I confess that I am often too blunt on my replies, too eager to ‘call out’ the poster and demand an explanation of the perceived slur. I think I made one such error of judgment earlier this week, mistrusting someone’s motives and reacting with hackles bristling.
Now though, I think I was wrong, and the lady in question is not what or who I thought. And so I wish her a long and happy sojourn within our happy band.