Credulity ought to trump skepticism occasionally
As a small child, I once asked my father why I had white marks in my fingernails. He said each mark stood for a fib I’d told. I counted them and was amazed that he was right. It’s a story everyone in my family enjoys remembering – everyone except me, that is.
Credulity seems refreshing in young children but unwise for adults. It’s defined by Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary as a “readiness or willingness to believe especially on slight or uncertain evidence.”
As an adult, I’ve long held that skepticism is a healthy attribute. In the day and age of easy information via the Internet, it’s not advisable to believe everything one reads or hears.
Yet, Gaskell’s quote has merit, too. Taken too far, skepticism denies us of leaps of faith. If we’re wrong about a person or event, at least we can derive satisfaction in knowing we took a risk based on belief rather than a safe but boring route under the guise of doubt.