As I was leaving for work one morning, I noticed that my husband left the broom he was using to sweep off the front porch standing in the corner instead of putting it back into the shed. No big deal, it was 6:30 a.m. and wasn’t hurting anything by being there until he gets home. Later that evening when I arrived back home I noticed the broom still there only it had fallen. “Why can’t he put things away where they belong? Someone is going to trip over it and get hurt.” Since I had my arms full I stepped over the broom and went inside the house.
The next morning, I stepped over the broom AGAIN on my way to the car to go to work. “I’m going to let that broom sit there and see how long it will take for him to put it away.” Later that evening when I came home, same broom…same position.
At that point I was furious. When is he going to come to his senses and stop walking over the broom that is clearly in the way and could cause someone to fall? Didn’t he care that someone could trip over it and fall right into the glass door? What kind of person does that??
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the answer to that question. That would be the kind of person who has a huge plank in her (my) eye!
We all have certain areas in our lives that we need to change, but it is easier to call out the shortcomings of others than to focus on our own business. We deceive ourselves by not taking ownership for our responses to the actions of others. That’s where the difference between the comparison of a speck of sawdust and the big plank comes in to play.
My secretive test to see how long it would take for my husband to pick up the broom was not about a productive resolution. I was criticizing the behavior of someone, but excusing that very same behavior when I exhibited it. I was being hypocritical, period.
Thank goodness it didn’t take too long before I self-assessed and concluded that my actions needed to be better. At that moment I removed that plank from my eye and picked up that broom.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.