He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
— Abraham Lincoln
Our negative judgments of others very frequently inform us of our own shortcomings. In other words, what we dislike in others are often those things we hate about ourselves. Much better than criticizing another’s abhorrent behavior is a decision to look inwardly at our own collection of traits and attitudes. Our desire to criticize, to pass judgment, offers an excellent mirror of who we truly are. And the image we see reflected can guide our movements toward becoming healthier, happy individuals.
We can feel a bit of gladness for what our negative reactions are able to teach us – but we must be willing to learn from them. How exciting to contemplate that every hateful moment actually is offering us a positive opportunity for change.
It’s human to find fault, and we shouldn’t be overcome with shame. However, we hinder our own personal growth every time we quickly criticize another rather than rejoicing that we’ve been given an additional opportunity to move closer to the person we’re being called to become.
Today I’ll look beyond others’ faults and recognize my own.
Today’s thought from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation