No need to learn how to criticize, we find ourselves doing it easily. Without any effort another person's flaws come readily to the eye. Why do we have so many people without manners in the world in which we live? People talking loudly in the subway, driving without concern for others, parking any place....
On the opinion page of the Peace Weekly the columnist mentions going to a martyrs shrine for Mass. The shrine is close to his house; he and the family walk frequently to the shrine, not only is it close, he likes the atmosphere at the shrine. A small parking space is located adjacent to the shrine, but those who come from a distance usually park out side the area of the shrine, and walk. Buses that come would also do the same.
On one occasion as they were walking along a narrow street, a car came by, and those walking went to the side of the road to give the car space to pass. If he is going to Mass, the columnist thought, why doesn't he walk the last section of the road to the shrine? He watched the car go into the small parking lot and as the driver descended he thought to himself, here was a slow witted person. The driver went to the trunk of the car, took out a wheel chair, and helped the woman get into the wheel chair.
During Mass he found it difficult to look in the direction of the man and the two woman who were with him. He was completely embarrassed by how it all worked out. He realized that he was too quick to judge and didn't see the whole picture before he jumped to his conclusion. Many are the times he has judged without the necessary facts, and felt embarrassed. "Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you" (Matt.7:1).
How many times do we have to change the way we think because of what we learn? A lesson not easily learned because of our habits. We all have experienced blurting out words without thought and reckless actions for which we are sorry.
What we see is not always all that we should be seeing. To make a judgement on fragments that we hear or something that we see without sufficient thought is looking for trouble.
We are living in times when speed is important, but when it is dealing with our fellow human beings it is well to give ourselves plenty of time before coming to a conclusion.
"Do not keep judging according to appearances; let your judgement be according to what is right" (John 7:24).
"Remember this, my dear brothers: everyone should be quick to listen but slow to speak and slow to human anger" (James 1:19)