May 3
Choose to be a love-finder
rather than a fault-finder.

Gerald Jampolsky


Today's Meditation:

As a teacher, this is one of the more difficult tasks in my life.  After all, one of the main goals of a teacher is to help students to correct their mistakes, and in order for that to happen, we have to find those mistakes and let students know about them.  Unfortunately, when we do this we tend to focus on weaknesses, and we tend to ignore the students' strengths.  If we can build on those strengths, however, we can help students to learn more and to be stronger in all that they do. 

If I'm a faultfinder, I'm looking for things to criticize, and then I'm sharing my criticisms.  I'm letting a person know that something that they've done or that they're doing doesn't measure up to standards, and that they need to fix something.  Something about them is flawed, in other words, and that's the message they hear.  What people internalize more than anything else is the idea that something's wrong with them, not the idea that with a little bit of work they may be able to do things much better.

If we approach things with love, though--if we look for the loving way to deal with a situation--we may find that we bring hope to the person instead of self-criticism.  We may find that we give enthusiasm and encouragement instead of feelings of despair.  When we try to find the loving way of doing things, we can make a person feel very good about his or her strengths instead of feeling very bad about his or her weaknesses.

Finding fault is easy.  Usually, though, it's a pretty selfish way of making ourselves feel better by focusing on someone else's shortcomings rather than a loving way of helping another person to come closer to reaching his or her potential.  And when we live in a society that values faultfinding over love-finding, it becomes very easy to make others feel awful by becoming one of the faultfinders ourselves, and contributing to the negative in the world instead of trying to build the positive in the world by focusing on the love in any situation we encounter.  The selfish way or the loving way?  It should be an easy choice.

Questions to consider:

How  do so many of us become people who focus on the faults of others?

In your own life, do you do better when someone points out your faults, or when someone helps you to find ways to improve?

How would you define Gerald's term "love-finder" in this context?

For further thought:

My days of whining and complaining about others have come to
an end.  Nothing is easier than fault-finding.  All it will do is
discolor my personality so that none will want to associate
with me.  That was my old life.  No more.

Og Mandino


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