Mind your own business
February 26, 2006
One of the first things to learn if you want to be a contemplative is how to mind your own business.
Nothing is more suspicious, in a man who seems holy, than an impatient desire to reform other men.
A serious obstacle to recollection is the mania for directing those you have not been appointed to direct, reforming those you have not been asked to reform, correcting those over whom you have no jurisdiction. How can you do these things and keep your mind at rest? Renounce this futile concern with other men’s affairs!
Pay as little attention as you can to the faults of other people. And none at all to their natural defects and eccentricities.
“Seeds”, Thomas Merton, selected and edited by Robert Inchausti, Shambhala, 2002 Part Three, Antidotes to
Illusion, PRAYER, MEDITATION, CONTEMPLATION p.88