More than half good

Shahidul Alam and Fazila Bu
May 17, 2019

Shahidul and I were driving to the Al Jazeera studio for his interview with Mehdi Hasan, and it was the first quiet moment he’d had in his whirlwind 48 hour stop in Washington DC a month ago. I was telling him about my ‘30 days 30 deeds’ blog theme for this year and asked what wisdom from an elder comes to his mind.  The first thing he thought of was something that his brother in law’s elder sister used to say to his sister and himself.

She would say, “If a person is more than half good, accept that.” Shahidul said it again, in Bangla, trying to figure out the best meaning: No one is fully good; if a person is half good, take that as good, he said.

“Throughout life, we create expectations of how people must be, and we find frailty and fault; even people we’re very fond of, we find there’s something wrong, and we hold on to that thing, forgetting that so much of that person is good,” Shahidul said. “We are often so self righteous in our analysis of people, and we hold on to things. One of the things I try to avoid is being judgemental.”

“That just came to me,” Shahidul added as we pulled up to the studio, “but I’m going to think about your question.”

Day 11 Wisdom 11: If a person is more than half good, accept that as good.

PS: The photo above is one I took of Shahidul in Srinagar, Kashmir – the one he was taking is the exquisite photo of Dal Lake below.

Follow all 30 wisdoms at, on Facebook @ 30 days 30 deeds, or on social media @salmahasanali.

Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

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