A lot of people are familiar with the Biblical parable about removing the moat (or beam) from your own eye before attempting to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
For those of you who aren’t, the moral is pretty simple. Before you get caught up with the desire to point out and remove all the flaws, sins, shortcomings, and imperfections in those around you, take a good long look at yourself.
If its an honest look, you’ll find enough to keep yourself busy quite handily, with no need to get absorbed in other people’s shortcomings.
Unfortunately, it seems that the people most likely to be digging into other people’s issues are also the least likely to be honest about their own.
You see, we judge ourselves by the most lenient standards, taking into account all the thought process and intentions (always positive) and understanding that no matter what we did, or what the outcome was, we meant well.
We didn’t mean to hurt anyone. We were doing the best we could.
But other people; the bar is high and the only colors are black and white. We swat away all the minutia of intention or thought process or what they may have been trying to achieve and we just see that they failed.
Messed up. Blew it. How very, very wrong they were, with no conceivable excuse.
If we’re honest, I don’t think we usually want to know the backstory. Its easier to write people off as lazy, or selfish, or sinful, or whatever else, and to glare them down (righteously, of course), for all their shortcomings.
For ourselves, we want mercy. Understanding. Forgiveness. We need people to see the gray areas, to understand what we were trying to do. To give us space to make some mistakes, to understand that not every choice we make, or thing we do, is the end-all, be-all defining choice or action.
To see that we are human; struggling, hurting, mistake making, second chance needing, humans.
But aren’t we all?