Too much of my life has been spent in dwelling upon the faults of others . This is a most subtle and perverse form of self – satisfaction , which permits us to remain comfortably unaware of our own defects . Too often we are heard to say , ‘ If it weren’t for him ( or her ) , how happy I’d be ! ’
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are , ourselves as we are , and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin . Again and again , we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure . This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives .
Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism , they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built .
1 . LETTER , 1966
2 . GRAPEVINE , MARCH 1962