[my life has been harried over the last several days, with more tasks than i have time to complete. my apologies for not getting this post completed by my self-imposed deadline.]
the title phrase of this post has become less difficult for me over the past couple of years. as i've aged, it is not as hard for me to see that each of us often becomes so involved with the artificial construct of "self" that we look for others to blame when things don't go right in our lives. we fail to recognize that life just happens, that mistakes are made by us and by those around us, that we're all in this life together. once we are aware of how everyone fails sometimes and accept that this is part of living, it becomes more natural to think kindly of others, to forgive their faults, just as we must learn to forgive our own faults.
it's not nearly as important to figure who's to blame when things go wrong as to figure out why things go wrong. i have a friend who is always saying "someone put this in the wrong place" or "someone" didn't do this or that correctly. the friend knows full well when he blames "someone" who that someone is, yet he can't bring himself to say that "you" failed, and I want you to know that you failed. it's easier for him just to correct whatever was done wrong without letting the guilty party know that things are not as he wants them to be, but in the process he must assign blame. we're all like that, but as we come to realize that each of us is less than perfect, determining where blame lies is not important; fixing what's wrong is the significant action.
this clinging to the need to look to others to find fault and the craving for revenge for those faults, even if that revenge is nothing more than giving voice to our disappointment in the failures of others, wastes our time and energy; it keeps us from accepting our own limitations and embracing our shared humanity. may we make the effort to think kindly of others so that we may think kindly of ourselves. shalom.