St. Thomas writes:
It is only right that we should be grateful not merely to those whom we think have found the truth and with whose views we agree by following them, but also to those who, in the search for truth, have made only superficial statements, even though we do not follow their views; for these men too have given us something because they have shown us instances of actual attempts to discover the truth. (Commentary on the Metaphysics, Book II, lesson 1, 288).
I find it easy to like and be thankful for teachers and others with whom I agree. It is something else entirely though for when I am faced with folks with whom I disagree. I get grouchy and impatient with them far too often. In fact, though, they are just like me: they are attempting to discover the truth. I make mistakes, and so do they. So rather than getting grouchy and impatient, I would be better off if I followed the example of Aquinas and instead was charitable and grateful to them for the example that they set in seeking the truth. Even if we agree about nothing else, we can at least find common ground in this, and this allows us the opportunity to seek the truth together.
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