Watch Yourself Go By

July 7, 2011

Perspective is a very important thing in life.

You might have something smudged on your forehead right now and not even realize it…because of your perspective. At the same time, someone across the room can see it clearly…because they are looking from a different perspective.

That’s the point Jesus was making in Matthew chapter 7 when he said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

It was also what Strickland Gillilan was contemplating when he penned these words: 

Watch Yourself Go By

Just stand aside and watch yourself go by;
Think of yourself as “he” instead of “I.”
Note, closely as in other men you note
The bag-kneed trousers and the seedy coat.
Pick flaws; find fault; forget the man is you,
And strive to make your estimate ring true.
Confront yourself and look you in the eye-
Just stand aside and watch yourself go by.

Interpret all your motives just as though
You looked on one whose aims you did not know.
Let undisguised contempt surge through you when
You see you shirk, O commonest of men!
Despise your cowardice; condemn whate’er
You note of falseness in you anywhere.
Defend not one defect that shames your eye-
Just stand aside and watch yourself go by.

And then, with eyes unveiled to what you loathe,
To sins that with sweet charity you’d clothe,
Back to your self-walled tenement you’ll go
With tolerance for all who dwell below.
The faults of others then will dwarf and shrink,
Love’s chain grows stronger by one mighty link,
When you, with “he” as substituted for “I,”
Have stood aside and watched yourself go by.

How can we overcome our tendency to see other’s faults and ignore our own? You can comment here.