To see oursels as ithers see us!

To day I am on leave. Its a bank holiday in Glasgow I have taken the day’s leave and am spending it at home. Mary is working this morning (unfortunately) so we can’t spend the time together. This has left me with some time chill! So far I have watched an episode of Ironside and The Rockford Files and now watching a episode of Due South, after this I will be able to watch Gagney and Lacey – all great blasts from the past. As I have indulged in this relaxation I have also had the laptop to hand and have done a bit of idle browsing.

The laptop is a key part of my work routine so interesting that I should pick it up when on leave. Truth is that as well as being an important part of my work life it is also part of my leisure life too. So I don’t feel like I am working when I am using it this morning 😉

I had a read of John Connells blog to see what he has been writing about – I do find many of his writings interesting, entertaining and sometimes thought provoking too. The following post attracted my attention – click on the link to read it ( its very short)

Know Thyself

It’s a short post but caused me to pause and reflect. This saying has its roots in an Ancient Greek amporphism you can read about it on WikiPedia. My thinking took me through a series of notions including the fact that to “Know Thyself” requires us individually first to reflect on our own thoughts and views to understand what the influences there are that cause us to hold the views we do. Seems to me that we also need to be honest with ourselves in doing this! I think we can sometimes find that we hold come views that if we saw then in other people would might detest!

This then took my thinking process to the words of Robert Burns from the poem

To a Louse which has the following in the last verse

O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An foolish notion:
What airs in dress an gait wad lea’es us,
An ev’n devotion!

I have highlighted the words I want to emphasis in italic font! Seems to me that this is real wisdom and and often overlooked concept. If we aspire to “Know Thyself” without taking consideration of how others see use and interpret our words and actions we may continue to act in ways that do not convey effectively our noble intentions.

I am also drawn to quote another writer – from the New Testament this time

Matthew Chapter 7

Judging Others

1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Which seems to emphasis the need to “Know Thyself” but in the context of a wider social context. Seems to me that this advice is to examine our own thoughts and motives first before we turn our critical attention towards others. We are, non of us perfect, we all fall short in one way and another. Of course this is only one aspect of knowing ourselves but I do consider this to be good advice regardless of our religious persuasion – this last quotation does come from the Bible.

Well Cagney and Lacey are now fully engaged in solving their latest crime so I should give that some attention now!