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The Perils of Plank-Eye, The Pirate. Monday March 27, 2017

I'm really good, really good, at spotting smelling mistooks - sorry, spelling mistakes, in other people's work.

Yesterday, someone found a mistake in my work I was doing for free for them - a mistake they could have easily sorted themselves. I was miffed!

However, I've learned that every experience holds a lesson if you're open-minded enough to learn it.

My lesson was to re-visit some 2000 year old wisdom:

Why do you look at the speck of dust in your friend's eye when there's a plank of wood sticking out of your own eye?

First, deal with the plank, then you'll be able to see clearly to help your mate. [That's a rather 'free' translation of Matthew chapter 7 verses 3 to 5.]

What did I learn? I learned this:

Whenever I find something lacking in somebody else - whether that's their spelling, or worse still, their character, it's an opportunity to check to see if I've become Plank-Eye, the Pirate!

Carl Jung dug into this territory too with his wonderful understanding of the Shadow. To simplify the thought: what we cannot tolerate in others is often an aspect of ourselves that we haven't come to terms with!

In the end, it comes down to this: it's best not to judge others. When tempted to, do a self-check first! And, if you do find something you can fix without pointing out someone else's shortcomings, fix it!

Finally, if you do have to point something out - be nice - knowing that there for the grace of God go you... and you probably will!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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LP Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:27am

Morning Lex,
Thank you for shining a beacon of light on the way forwad.
I wrote about my frutrations in a recent blog and knew that I needed to work through them more to resolve them, but felt stuck with them at that point. It's clear now that I am also frustrated about the same thingsin myself and need to takle those first.
Thank you and wishes for a good day to you and all. LP xx

Lex Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:43am

Hi LP, glad it was helpful. I do think there is an opportunity for self-discovery in the faults I find in others! And whilst we might not be able to change them, we can certainly work on ourselves. I am, "a work in progress"!

Orangeblossom Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 8:11am

Hi Lex, thanks for the brilliant blog. I have learnt that as soon as I starting judging people, I am bound to find them wanting. I loved reading about pirate plank eye. Thanks. Have a great week.

Lex Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 9:49am

Thanks, Orangeblossom, I'm Aharrgh!ing like a pirate in yer 'on our!

Hopeful One Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 10:09am

Hi Lex -so true and worth a reminder. Don't they say 'When you point your finger at someone notice where the thumb is pointing'?

Today's laugh .

Nick sat in his attorney's office. "Do you want the bad news first or the terrible news?" the lawyer said. "Give me the bad news first." "Your wife found a picture worth a half-million dollars." "That's the bad news?" asked Nick shockingly. "I can't wait to hear the terrible news." "The terrible news is that it's of you and your secretary."

Lex Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 1:50pm

Hi Hopeful One! Yes! And when we point the finger, there's usually quite a few fingers on our own hands pointing back at us!

The Gardener Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 10:40am

Love the joke, HO, except! Can not be a joke given the vengeance activities in social media which appal me. Lex, made me take a long look at myself and to see what the HELL more I can do in a worsening situation. Mr G is worse, rude, childish, petty, growls like a dog, does the 'yeh yeh yeh yeh'. There is a small part which is him and not the disease. Used now to being told what a terrible, unsympathetic, uncaring wife I am. But, relevant to your blog - I am growing like it - terrified at my temper, slipping control, frequent tears of rage. I can be mercurial - but thought my self-control was good. 'Good words do NOT turn away wrath'. I can't walk away and avoid confrontation, the yells follow. BUT, what a week-end for help - from all sides, neighbours, people at church - chemists young son moving plants. Right Lex, put a word in the right place that I can, knowing that I am surrounded by such kindness, control these awful tendencies in myself, knowing that I am not alone. Now I greet all the 'loners' here - they all know me, but because I am a 'personnage' they are a bit in awe. Now greet, shake hands, kiss, whatever - a lovely lady, a bit odd, don't know her history, said yesterday 'you're so kind, so well liked'. So, as somebody last week mentioned their 'blessings' jar - it's filling up - and the new bathroom going in - put on Wagner to combat the racket.

Lex Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 1:49pm

Hi Dear Gardener, I think I'm with many in our community in thinking you've got enough on your plate without any more introspection! The plank-eye pirate routine is helpful for me as a window into opportunities to grow, but I think coping is enough for now in your situation, don't you? Keep filling up that blessing jar - a power bit of extrospection/extraspection (if there are such words!) Wagner away!!!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:14pm

I am going to add an enthusiastic "hear, hear" from this corner. And quote you some words from Mother Teresa."I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." I know you don't feel like a saint, but I bet the saints didn't feel like saints most of the time; Peter with his temper, Paul with his fussy crotchets, Barnabas when he quarrelled with his best friend Paul, split up and never saw him again. Yet, we honour them as saints. You too are honoured - and you are worthy. It's just that you cannot feel saintlike when you have to live with the daily insults and endure the grinding pain your position cannot but inflict. Introspection is only useful if it brings to the surface more impurities for the refiners fire to burn away. It's the scum on the top we see, the gold is underneath. You must be pretty much pure gold by now - even if you can't see it. Please have a warm hug and know you are loved by many of us.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:14pm

Oh and Wagner? Right on!

Rosemary Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 11:28am

Thank you for your blog Lex, a good reminder. When I begin to look at the 'faults' of others I check in with myself and just question whether it's just a case of projection and transference. It's a good way to tweak our own characters x

Lex Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 1:46pm

It is, isn't it, Rosemary. I know I'm at my most 'picky' when I'm really out of sorts with myself! x

Jul Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 3:55pm

Hi Lex. Have only just been able to read this. You are so right. I could give you numerous examples of how I fall short with this. Love Jules xxx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:15pm

I rarely pick fault with others; I am all too conscious that they could turn the argument far more successfully against me!

The Gardener Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:32pm

You are a lovely lot here - I get too much praise for coping, too many allusions to 'sainthood', untrue. Force of circumstance has pushed me into caring for my husband when we all know he would be better off in hospital. What gets me is that my philosophy has always been to act calmly in a crisis - road accidents, children's terrifying illnesses, actual danger - the horrors of travel (by whatever means) which seems to generate a nervous breakdown in everybody. My mother always considered me 'hard' because I did not run round like a headless chicken in a crisis. The 'cool' ones always end up doing it anyway. Now, I am descending into the 'pit' of trading insult for insult, yell for yell. Mr G was appallingly rude to the lady who came to read to him - I could hear it all - he thought I was out of the house - I was ashamed that MY husband should speak like that - she WAS shocked, only that he had changed so much in the six weeks since she had seen him - but, she underlined that THEY are the professionals, my husbands behavior is not MY fault. He's yelling again - told to ignore it, I CANNOT. Any, fresh fields and pastures new (who said that?) plants are burgeoning,

Leah Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 9:41pm

TG I don't see you as a saint but rather a pragmatic survivor making sense of an situation that makes no sense. When my mum was saying hurtful things someone said to remember that's just the illness talking and dont let it upset you.AS you say yo can't ignore it and it is upsetting. I think acting calmly under difficult circumstances is a wonderful asset. Your honest words move us all. Take care.

The Gardener Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 7:33pm

Shostokovitch is making a horrible din in the kitchen - back to Wagner

Tutti Frutti Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 9:51pm

Woah Shostakovich is a very acquired taste which I have never quite managed to acquire! Hope the Wagner is better. Love TF x

Leah Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 9:35pm

Thanks for your thoughtful blog.
There is a saying but I can't remember its origins about if you live with criticism you learn to condemn.
I find if someone criticises me I do tend to point out a fault in them and then are told I am passive aggressive and it has nothing to do with them!
Also what about people whose job or role is to improve others by point out their weaknesses, -editors teachers , coaches to name a few. Sometimes if someone is aware of one' weakness one can help others develop strengths.
I think it is how the mistake is pointed out. I can spot typos etc in others work but find it hard to see my own so I don't mind if someone points it out if it is does in a friendly non critical way.
Also my inner critic is far harsher than anyone else can be.

Tutti Frutti Mon, Mar 27th 2017 @ 9:47pm

I completely agree that criticism can be constructive if given in the right way. And also with what you say about the inner critic. I had to write up a chat with my line manager on my performance recently and i tried really hard to be positive as he had said some nice things and the grade he had given me was reasonably good but when he read it he immediately said "you've been a bit hard on yourself"! Serious work clearly still needed with the old inner critic! Love TF x

Sally Tue, Mar 28th 2017 @ 3:59am

Loved your blog, Lex. A pearl or two of wisdom is always helpful! Smiley face. I also liked the comments.

Leah, the quote is "If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn" and is part of the Children Live What They Learn poem, very, very good IMO, that I have pinned up on a door in my workroom. Since finding it 30 odd years ago, I quite often refer to it, as I think it contains lots of truisms put in a succinct way.
TG, how you suffer! My heart goes out to ou as you recount the instances where you are berated and abused. One's patience DOES wear thin, inevitably, and the answer? I have no pat one, I'm afraid.

I became a grandmother on Mother's Day, 26th March, ( or Mothering Sunday ). Truly blessed. Another one for the blessings jar, definitely!!!

The Moodscope community is very supportive, and leaves judgment at the door on here, yeay!

Thanks again, Lex. You made me realise that Plank-Eye, The Pirate, is alive and well, and visits me all too often. I must stop giving him hospitality!!!

Lex Tue, Mar 28th 2017 @ 7:49am

Ooooo, Sally, congratulations! May your jar be filled to overflowing with blessings!

Sally Wed, Mar 29th 2017 @ 7:46am

Thank you Lex. It is, it is!

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