I was reading the Mailbag #2 on Wait But Why and came across this question:

Can you suggest methods for dealing with the crushing realization that people you used to have a lot of respect for don’t hold the principles/values you thought they did and therefore might no longer be worthy of your respect? Especially close people like parents, teachers, mentors, and religious leaders?

This stood out to me upon reading it. I could be completely wrong, but it reads like a question written in by a college kid who’s coming into their own, becoming confident in their views, and seeing that the world around them is filled with not-all-the-same views.

Their first instinct might be ‘I used to look up to this person, but now that I know they believe in X, I can’t look up to them anymore, right? Neigh, I can’t even RESPECT them anymore!‘ But if you do that enough times, then you’re going to be disappointed in everyone!

Here’s a snippet of the response by the author:

I find this to be a pretty reliable graph:

The crushing realization you’re experiencing is probably less some awful truths you’re learning about people you admire and more a truth you’re seeing about humans in general. Even the people you look up to are fallible and flawed—but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be worthy of your love and respect.

It sounds obvious but judging character on limited information is usually the wrong way to go. We forget that now more than ever before it seems. When I say I ‘hate’ Alaa Abdelnaby, what I really mean is that I think he stinks as an announcer, but if I had a beer with him, I’m sure we’d get along.

There’s really no point to this post other than to show off that graph and say don’t judge people so harshly. That’s a simple but great graph.