Recognizing our Faults in the Mirror of Dharma
For the most part, we don’t want to admit to or analyze our own faults. We tend to regard ourself as most important and develop an inflated view of ourself. This view can come from a variety of sources, such as our looks, our knowledge, our social status, skills, or experiences that we think are unique and special. We can develop pride on any of these things, or on qualities we only believe we actually possess.
It is so difficult for us to admit that we have faults that we resort to making excuses for them, oftentimes by finding others to blame instead of taking responsibility for our own shortcomings. But just because we can’t see our own faults doesn’t mean that others can’t see them, and when they criticize us our response is to usually become defensive and possibly retaliate. We, in turn, pay more attention to their faults and ignore their good qualities, and our mind becomes increasingly more disturbed and even angry the more we dwell on their perceived qualities.
As a result of regarding ourself as superior and others as inferior we perform many negative actions that will later ripen as rebirth in the lower realms. If we focus instead on the good qualities of others, our deluded pride will decrease and we will cherish others and view them as important. We will perform more kind and virtuous actions as a result of this positive view.