liberate, it oppresses and I am the oppressor of the person I condemn,
not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say
that we must never pass judgment when we desire to help and improve,
but if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to
accept him as he is, and he can do this in reality only when he has
already seen and accepted himself as he is.
Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most
difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple,
and so acceptance of one's self is the essence of the moral problem
and the acid test of one's whole outlook on life.
That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy
in the name of Christ; all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I
do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I
should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all
beggars, the most imputed of all offenders, yay that the very fiend
himself, that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of
my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved, what
Then, as a rule, the whole truth of Christianity is reversed. There is
then no more talk of love and long-suffering. We say to the brother
within us: "raka!" and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him
from the world, we deny ever having met this least of the lowly in
ourselves, and had it been God himself who drew near to us in this
despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a
single cock had crowed."
Food for thought.