Raymond said as he read the book what struck him was the compassion and kindness of the character. “At every turn he seemed to give people the benefit of the doubt and even (perhaps to a fault) was willing to cover character defects with a loving understanding.” As an example he even found something to praise in a character named Mrs. Dubose, who was a mean, rude, racist, morphine addict. She finally kicked her addiction not long before she died. Though he clearly saw her faults and did not excuse them, Finch nevertheless praised her for the courage she showed in finally dealing with her addiction. He said real courage is "when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” Finch claimed that Mrs. Dubose was “the bravest person I ever knew.” Finch was not a blind fool. He was intelligent. He saw the faults of people for what they were. But he always seemed to look for evidence of something noble or good in people. He was a character full of compassion and kindness, as well as courage and strength.
That’s where the challenge comes in. I don’t have to be like that. Something stirs within me when I imagine a person who continually shows compassion and who seeks to find the good in others, to affirm them. In my heart that’s the kind of person I want to be. God has not called me to be blind, naïve and foolish, but he has called me to show others the kind of grace he has shown me. The simple and painful truth is that I am glad people do not know everything about me. They cannot read all my unworthy thoughts. If they did, I know they would not think well of me. But God does know my thoughts. He knows all of them thoroughly. And yet in his grace he accepts me, loves me, even delights in me, despite my flaws. If his Spirit is filling me, surely I will show that same grace to others. Surely I will accept and love them despite their flaws. And as my Father rejoices in even my feeble attempts to do good, surely I will look for and celebrate whatever is noble and good in others as well.