Blind Spots

It’s no doubt that we all have our weaknesses.  One of the aspects of the human condition is how hard it is for us to see our own weaknesses.

One of my weaknesses is the way I say things.  It takes people a while to get used to, but generally once we’ve become acquainted it’s usually not an issue anymore.  They do however, still notice.  I’ve been told at my current job that there’s a list of Jacobisms floating around that eventually they’ll share with me.  Because I don’t notice them I can only imagine how long the list is, or how funny it is out of context.

Just this week I know I’ve said things like, “don’t make me supervise you” (to my boss), and “sometimes, I do things” while at work.  Out of context, these are pretty funny.  I’ve also got the line, “I may not be well informed, but I have a strong opinion about X.” Which is a phrase that is so useful more people should adopt it.

All of these have been understood in context and appreciated by the audience.  All were spoken using English, but its English with a mannerism that is certainly reflective of my personality.

I know I do this, but I have the fault of not being as conscious of it as I should be.

It’s easy for others to see.  It’s not easy for me.  It’s easy for others to see your faults.  It’s not easy to see them ourselves.  I imagine we all have (at times) participated in the art of finding fault in others.  I think it’s part of the teenage experience.

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

-Mark Twain

This week I was having a conversation that was productive to a point, but then I noticed a theme in the discussion.  We were observing and commenting only on the faults of the individuals we were discussing.  We were talking about their blind spots.  I’d like to think we were generally being polite in our discourse, but I knew if we’d continued the dialogue it might have easily shifted to where I would have been uncomfortable having them talk about me, the way I was talking about them.

Then the scripture came to mind in Ether 12:27:

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Remembering that scripture helped me to remember to be kind.  The people who were the subject of the conversation probably have just as many faults as I do (but who’s counting anyway?).  The solution for them is the same for me.  Be humble and take your weaknesses to the Lord so that he can make them strong.

I once wrote that just because someone is on the same path doesn’t mean they have the same destination.  Those who choose to follow Heavenly Father’s plan to overcome their weaknesses are on the same path.  I know what it’s like to walk that path and can relate those who on it with me.

There’s really not much insight in this post other than I found a way to apply a scripture to help me be kinder in my thoughts and more appreciative of those around me.  And now you all know there’s a list of Jacobisms floating around my work.  If I ever get a copy of it, I’ll have to post it here.

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