Letters to Jesus (Perspectives and Perceptions) -4
I am often troubled by what I perceive as the things I have to bear from others. But I should reflect more deeply on what others have to bear from me.
My love, compassion, humility, and forgiveness is daily tested by things that annoy me in other people. The boisterous, egotistical, aggressive brashness that grates on me is the same that is seen in me by others. It is likewise the same with manipulativeness, impatience, and vindictiveness. So, how is it that the splinter we see in the eye of others we fail to see in our own?
In reflecting on this it’s clear to see that it’s so much easier to be critical of others than critical of oneself. If I know that others level the same criticism at me as I level at them, my first reaction would be – they’re wrong! They don’t really know me! That would probably be their reaction to my criticism of them as well. It’s the human reaction. But something’s wrong with it. When we do this we put our selves above their selves. We say we feel that what we do is OK, but what they do isn’t.
People never fully know the whole story of another. It’s better to imagine the contrary of what we’re thinking than to pontificate about what we imagine. But in each instance of annoyance or temptation to criticize it can help us to picture ourselves as the receivers – the ones with the splinter.