In all these situations we need self-restraint, honest analysis of what is involved, a willingness to admit when the fault is ours, and an equal willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. We need not be discouraged when we fall into the error of our old ways, for these disciplines are not easy. We shall look for progress, not perfection.
Progress, not perfection is a phrase I hear and use a lot. I wonder if it’s elsewhere in the literature.
All these situations refers I guess to what came just before – our daily ups and downs.
Self-restraint, and, from elsewhere, restraint of tongue and pen. I don’t know if I’ve written about it before, but the day I sent my daughter onto the school bus crying because I had hollered at her I vowed not to do that again. I’ve also been occasionally successful when arguing with others to cut it short and stop when I feel myself about to get mean. My defect after that is that I never want to come back to the difficulty, I’d rather ignore it than have more confrontation.
Honest analysis seems impossibly difficult. I know that at work, when I have trouble with someone, I always know to try and understand and search out their point of view, but I don’t think I’m very good at it.
A willingness to admit when the fault is ours. Yes, mostly, I hope. I guess it’s a good thing that I don’t do many things that are just obviously totally wrong anymore. But the famous “my part” is a bit of a cop out. It does happen to me at times that I cannot see the other person’s point of view, or the possible goodness in what they have done.
Willingness to forgive when the fault is elsewhere. Mostly, usually, and it helps if the other person is actually sorry.