And yet, after all that, he called himself lazy.
Only the lord knows what he's looking at when he examines his day... and it reminds me of how typical it is for us to see the hole in our own beings--however small it is--and blast it out of proportion so that we can still think ill of ourselves. I can lose 90 lbs., yet still criticize myself for the tummy bulge I will always have. I once complimented a coworker of mine, a woman who was always gracious, always perfectly dressed, always beautifully put together. I told her how wonderful she looked--how wonderful she always looked, and she replied, "If only I could lose these last ten pounds."
What the hell was she talking about? I wondered, skimming over her 5-foot-2, 100-pound frame. And yet this was what she was thinking.
In graduate school it was the same: fellow students who received a test back and obsessed about the five points they'd missed, not the 95 points they'd managed to get. We are too hard on ourselves, too quick to judge ourselves to find the flaws.
Yet, I suppose, another alternative isn't so great, either (and you know this kind of person, too): This one is so busy finding the mote in other's eyes, so to speak, that he can't see the huge log sticking out of his own. Easy to feel good about one's self when one sees the rest of the world as so comparatively imperfect.
I have a solution to all of this, though--it's one I work at for myself, at least, and it makes me much happier. I was reminded of it while checking e-mail this morning, for my daily astrology reading (through MSN) told me to keep being nice, to spread my joy and kindness around, since I was one of the sources of kindness remaining in the world (or roughly that, since I didn't save the reading). Here's my joy to share: You are a great person, as am I, and the more we concentrate on our talents, our inner joy, and what we do have, what we do well, the happier everyone will be. Instead of picking at yourself all day (or others, though you probably don't know who you are if you do that), find the all the good you can today. Write it down, if you have to, if the happy thoughts won't stick in your head for longer than a moment.
Now, once the day is done, come back and share what you noticed. Spread your own happiness around a bit. I'll let you complain another day, but not today.