You’ve probably seen this video before but I recently was reminded of it when a colleague of mine, Beau, gave me some good advice. I’ve been struggling with someone I work with and complaining at lunch about them. How, “if only they would…” and “I wish they would do more of…”
Beau’s a pretty nice guy but about as blunt as a sledgehammer sometimes. “Stop trying to fix ’em you moron.”
Ouch. But Beau and I get along well enough that I know he was trying to help. And the more I’ve thought about it the more I realized it’s true. It’s not my job to “fix” the people around me. Who says they need fixing?! Maybe I’m the one who needs fixing!
Then I was reading in the Bible (yes, I’m a proud Christian) and came across this beautiful gem: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
Ouch again. Okay, okay! I get it! God, or the Universe, or my conscious is trying to tell me something. So, the life lesson for me is this: When I’m tempted to “fix” something about someone I ought to step back and look at what needs fixing in my own life. I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to make the people around us better, but we ought to be more careful about our definition of what it means to be “better”.