"However good a person we think ourselves to be, there are alas occasions when we all fall short of the mark and fail to measure up to our image in the eyes of others.
When one has a close friend, the most natural thing in the world is to protect them and safeguard their reputation. That is why one is less inclined to believe any allegation that is made against a friend that besmirches their character, but is more likely to believe a similar allegation against someone whom they dislike, even though it besmirches their character also.
It is right to stand firmly alongside friends and family and to offer them your support in all circumstances, but is wrong to condone something they have done wrong. We need to remember that we are all human and that even people who invariably behave good at most times sometimes do bad things and people who more often than not do bad things, are also capable of behaving better and occasionally do good things.
I once recall, being the only independent witness to an incident when I was a mill manager in my late 20's. My friend, John, who was one of the nicest and one of the most popular people one could meet was in an altercation with another shift worker called Joe. Joe had a reputation for being a nasty piece of work and would frequently be malicious and cruel in his comments and dealings with others. When the rest of the work force heard about the altercation between the two men, almost every man present instantly placed Joe at fault and blamed him for the ruckus. For whatever reason unknown to me, John allowed Joe to carry the blame and to the best of my knowledge, he never admitted his fault to any of his work mates.
It was at that moment that I was reminded of what my mother had told me after I'd once caught her swearing when she didn't know that I was present and later challenged her for her unladylike and ungodly language. She smilingly replied as though she knew that I'd been eves-dropping all the time, 'That is today's lesson, Billy : even 'good' people sometimes do 'bad' things.'" William Forde: November 30th, 2013.