“To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. Rather than speaking badly about people and in ways that will produce only friction and unrest in their lives, we should practice a purer perception of them, and when we speak of others, speak of their good qualities. If you find yourself slandering anybody, first imagine that your mouth is filled with excrement. It will break you of the habit quickly enough.”
– The Dalai Lama

A splinter in another’s eye, a beam in our own. Difficult though isn’t it? It has to be the problem with the other person: they are too mean, too inconsiderate, too harsh, loud, fast, slow, smart, stupid. Hmm…maybe it’s not them. So what is the splinter in my eye? Maybe I don’t communicate well with this person, I don’t share my thoughts, I’m not true to myself, I’m too nice when I really want to be more straightforward, I am not loud enough sometimes, I move too slow, or too fast, or maybe I’m self-conscious about how smart I am, or how stupid I am. There’s no end to it really, or maybe there is.

Maybe the idea is to focus on other people and want to help them, truly. When I think about others and how I can serve them, I forget about how I could serve myself by changing the other person for my convenience. The idea of service is changing yourself around what is convenient for another person. You take them places, explore new things, step out and care about them because you want to love them and care about what is important to them. You want them to become wonderful and happy in their own sight. There are so many wonderful qualities about everyone, including ourselves, and the ability to realize our own shortcomings might just be one of the greatest qualities we have. Humility might be the word for that.

When I think about it, whenever I have a problem with someone, that problem always pales in comparison to the good things I enjoy with that person. I am so skilled at forgetting the wonderful things I have, this is usually an easy thing to do but it shouldn’t be. If we focus on the great things we have, the bad things become smaller and smaller. Then again, if that doesn’t work, just imagine your mouth is filled with excrement. That will probably do the trick.