"Be the actor of your own life and not the spectator of mine."
That's perhaps worded more strongly than I would write the sentiment... but maybe it's the force of the statement that made me sit up and wince. Have you ever been guilty of this? I know I have. What is it that makes us get so focused on what the people around us are doing, and completely neglect to give the same attention to our own actions?
"Did you see what Jessica wore to the party on Friday??" "Have you heard what Kevin said to Terri?" "Can you believe the way Erin was throwing herself at Rick?" "Dear Jesus... please forgive Lori for her drinking problem."
On the one hand, I'm not sure what it is that makes us think that we are so perfect that we could survive the same scrutiny from those around us. But on the other, if we gave the same attention to our own actions, devoted the same energy that we do to criticizing others' faults to minimizing our own, concentrated on making our own lives better, rather than ripping others' apart... how much richer would our lives be?
I challenge myself to this in the coming week... every time I'm tempted to criticize someone else for the choices they've made or the actions they're taking, I will instead look to myself and find something personal to devote that energy to.
We'll just see what ends up happier...