Sunday, March 28, 2010

Setting Aside Judgement.

From the ODAT, page 87:

"I will guard against looking for flaws in others; I will try to see what is good in them."

Given the appropriate state of mind, I am always able to find some supremely irritating aspect of my fellow human beings - this one talks too much, that one has a habit of snorting when he laughs, this one is homophobic, that one is passive-aggressive...when I'm looking, I can find any number of human frailties upon which to seize, and judge the owner accordingly.

I believe that I got started doing this, because that's what was modeled to me in childhood. That's a reason, not an excuse. There's a world of difference between the two. A reason is a "basis or cause;" an excuse is a "pretext or subterfuge." (Subterfuge, what a great word.)

When I look within to find out why I do what I do, I'm searching for the reason, and I can use that self-knowledge to more fully understand the workings of my character. When I use that knowledge to justify continuing along that same path, I'm making excuses for myself, and I will not grow.

Why is it so easy to sit in judgement of others, and so damnably difficult to have clarity about myself? Denial, shame, embarassment all play a part.

When I'm willing to ride out the shame or embarassment, invariably what I find on the other side is humour - the ability to laugh at myself and my foolish, stubborn, human frailties.

That ability to see myself with affectionate humour, is a gift of the program that I cherish.It's another glorious day here, and I'm content. May you be, also.


  1. I've come to believe that when I find fault in others, it's saying something about how I think about myself. Someone once said, if no one is measuring up, we should check our yardstick! Have a good weekend!!

  2. Yes! And that ability to see others with affectionate humour, too.

  3. Humor helped me to develop a little thicker skin..which as served me so much better than the ultra-sensitive, self-absorbed person I used to be. I also have learned that sarcasm is not humor. I still have to look at my motives...progress.. :-D


  4. What a great post. Learning to stop taking someone else's inventory is hard. My sponsor had me keep a journal once. In it, I had to record every time I criticized, complained, condemned or compared myself with someone else, whether out loud or in my head. It was very revealing.

  5. love the quote -and as others say, pointing the finger cues me to 'look homeward angel'. I truly
    benefit from these reminders, Thanks!

  6. I chaired a meeting on character defects last night. We talked about our assets and defects--and how each is part of who we are. And sometimes the defects are there for a reason and serve a purpose.