Marcus Aurelius on criticizing faults
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” – Marcus Aurelius
When you find a fault in someone else, are you sure that you don’t have the same fault? Maybe you haven’t committed the same exact act, but are you sure you haven’t failed in a similar way at some point?
Once you see that, it’s pretty easy to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is a bunch of negativity really going to help here? What will help?
While this doesn’t excuse someone’s fault, it does help you to understand it, and understanding it is often the key to making a situation work. You can’t expect to be perfectly on the same page with everyone all of the time; sometimes, all that takes to get you close enough to the same page is a little bit of this kind of understanding.
Along these same lines, I’ve been trying to catch myself and say something similar. They are on their own journey, which goes beyond the above. The idea is that everyone has their reasons for things, even if I don’t agree or wouldn’t make the same decision based on my journey.
The hidden attribute is that there is often missing information, best exemplified by the Internet Rage Machine.