Seeing yourself

By Paulo Coelho

‘When you look at your companions, try to see yourself,’ said the Japanese teacher Okakura Kakuso.

‘But isn’t that an awfully selfish attitude?’ asked a disciple. ‘If we are always concerned about ourselves, we will never see the good things that others have to offer.’

‘If only we did always see the good things in others,’ replied Kakuso. ‘But the truth is that when we look at another person, we are only looking for defects. We try to discover his wicked side because we want him to be worse than us. We never forgive him when he hurts us because we do not believe that we would ever be forgiven. We manage to wound him with harsh words, declaring that we are telling the truth, when all we are doing is trying to hide it from ourselves. We pretend that we are important so that no one else will see how fragile we are. That is why whenever you judge your brother, be aware that you are the one who is on trial.’

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