When I read this quote, it reminds me of how I have approached situations that must be met and decisions that must be made. My own thinking — at least my own un-aided thinking — leads me to self-justifying conclusions or self-seeking behavior. Too many of my snap judgments and reactions proceed from one premise: I am right. This problem is bad enough when I react quickly to a challenge; it is devastating when I am agitated or doubtful.
I discuss self-examination and meditation so often because these practices help me be clear-eyed about myself. Someone once said that “self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear on the dark and negative side of our natures.” Meditation allows me to use that “vision, action, and grace” to look at myself, my words, and my deeds as others see me.
If I pause before deploying tongue and pen — even for a second — I’m freed from the tyranny of self long enough to do the next right or good thing.