Monday, January 13, 2014

Personal Flaws

We are all deeply flawed individuals. Each of us is marked by assorted episodes of the seven deadly sins, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. Yet somehow, we all seem to have come to a sort of acceptance of ourselves. We argue that we are just wired a certain way or that we are a product of our environment. Our flaws and limitations, no matter how much they are a part of us, are usually missed or overlooked in their entirety when we gaze into a mirror. The reflection that we see is nothing like what others take in. Sometimes our self-blindness can be revealed in trumpet blares to everyone around us, yet we never suspect a thing about ourselves. We just go about oblivious, holding as truth a poor caricature of reality.

Some years ago I worked with a man from Romania. He was a colorful fellow and quite bright. However, he was not, well, how should I say, an example of humanity that anyone would want to see walking the runways of Milan or Paris. He was about 5 foot tall, weighed over 300 pounds, and his face was creased and pock-marked. I remember a conversation that we had one day where he was talking about his wife, who I knew as she also worked in my group. He told me that he did not marry his wife for her looks but for her brains. While she was rather plain looking, she was certainly in shape and quite engaging. I found it sadly amusing how this man, given what he looked like, could judge another so harshly, especially the person who should be the most important in his world. Yet he never considered that what he was saying was the least bit out of line. Actually, the same scenario plays out with me far too often. I judge others in areas where I am just as guilty or lacking. I am as blind toward myself as anyone else.