It’s easy to be critical of someone. It takes hard work to get to know them and love them, even when you both disagree.

What I’ve learned about myself is when I’m focused on what’s wrong with another person, I don’t have to address what’s wrong with me. I’ve realized that criticism is actually a defense mechanism to protect myself from dealing with the pain and hard work I need to do in own life.

When I stop to really hear someone’s story, I find myself having more compassion for them and the work they need to do. I also unearth compassion for myself, the mistakes I’ve made, and the work I have yet to do.

What if each of us today decided to set aside our criticism of someone and commit to hearing their story? That doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything but we can have compassion for everyone.

Each person we encounter is a tapestry of hopes, dreams, pain, hardships, and struggles. Fixating on what we don’t like about them causes us to miss out on the beauty that’s within them.

Today, let’s remember that there’s more to “them” than what we see wrong with them.

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