Letters to Jesus (Perspectives and Perceptions) -3
We cannot love when we are constantly comparing and differentiating. When I look at myself I see this to be very much the case daily. It is sadly normal for me to characterize, judge, and stereotype almost every individual with whom I come in contact.
I, with minimal effort, easily catch myself looking people up and down, making judgments about their appearance, their demeanor, their clothes, their expression, their speech, their gait, and many other details. I am far more prone to be critical than empathetic. How then can such a person love? Would I wish that others so thoroughly evaluate my exterior?
The energy spent in doing this could easily just as well be spent on assessments based on empathy. Identifying the weaknesses in my own character: my clothes, my demeanor, my attitude, my words, etc. which could all easily be the objects of criticism, would be a leveling factor in Your challenge to love others as we love ourselves and to do unto them as we would have them do unto us. Learning to do this means that in each instance when we would be critical or judgmental we turn our judgment or criticism upon ourselves. We identify and empathize with the other for the very reason that the things we would judge or criticize in them are among the same perceptions for which we would be judged or criticized by others. There must be recognition of the similarities in all our frailties.