I was thinking about what I wrote the other day about being judgmental, and I think the reason I try not to be that way with others is that I judge myself so harshly. I have standards that I donít measure up to. Thereís an image I have of who I should be, and then thereís this shadowy sense of how badly I fall short. How can I criticize someone else for being less than perfect?
For some reason I have this built-in desire to make excuses for other people. Thatís because I like to assume that thereís no inherent malice in them, at least not in those I come into contact with. I want to think theyíre doing the best they can, so if something happens I donít like, my first thought is that someone is having a bad day (or a bad moment), not that theyíre trying to offend. If theyíre really evil and hurtful, Iíd know it by the pattern of their actions, not by a slip here and there.
Besides, none of us is at our absolute best every moment of every day. To be honest, weíre probably very seldom at our absolute best. So if I say something hurtful, Iíd hate to think it would ruin a friendship. Iíd like to believe that a real friend would chalk it up to a bad moment and give me another chance. (And then, if I need it, another one after that.) Thatís the kind of latitude Iíd give them, after all, if tables were turned.