Having grown up a Baptist Preacher’s Kid, I’ve long been aware of the phenomena of outward mindedness, especially since many people practice it without the corresponding inward mindedness. This is the tendency referred to in the Gospel as, “don’t complain about the speck in someone’s eye when you have a (wooden) beam in yours.”

Outward mindedness to often becomes an excuse to ignore your own faults. And, ironically, self-improvement turns into self-righteousness, which becomes an excuse to not dig deeper into your values and ideals.

Too often self-improvement deals with outward behavior: disorganization, procrastination, even appearance but never asks us to examine our values and the effect they have on others.

Social media perpetuates this. It encourages us to post criticisms of others without turning the light on ourselves. In the end we post pronouncements and lose the ability to communicate.

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Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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