Examine Thyself without pity, you will be charitable to others.
Study yourself without pity and realise that you carry in yourself precisely all the things that you find so ridiculous in others.
A Buddhist Master was commenting on the sayings of Buddha on the meaning of maturity to a group of monks and scholars:
“The Enlightened One, in one of His dialogues, talks about the difference between a matured and immature man. A matured man is the one who is fully conscious of the immaturity, stupidity and ignorance within him and therefore humble and wise. An immature man is the one who is not conscious of all the immaturity within him, and therefore thinks himself be very intelligent and wise, lives in an illusion of maturity and wisdom, stupidly proud.”
One of the disciple monks asks, “What is the inner and outer signs of maturity” “watch your thought, feeling and behaviour,” replied the master, “One of the signs of the immature man is that he constantly thinks and talks about others’ immaturity. The matured man, since he is very much conscious of all the ridiculous ignorance within him, never thinks or talks depreciatively of others. On the other hand the immature man, since he thinks himself to very wise, constantly thinks and talks critically about others immaturity. So a wise humility is the characteristic of the matured man and conversely, a foolish vanity is the sign of the immature man.”
Another disciple asked, “How does a matured man behaves.” The master explained: “There is a certain harmony between his inner condition and outer behaviour, which means freedom from hypocrisy. The immature man, either consciously or subconsciously adjusts his behaviour in order to please other or to gain the respect or admiration of others or in other word, his behaviour is a seeking for social respectability. But the matured man is simply what he is, as he is. If it exposes his weakness and defects to others he doesn’t care, because he doesn’t seek for social respectability.”
An erudite scholar in the group said “I agree that I should not consider the other person as immature. But we have to admit that some persons are immature”. The Master replied “are you including yourself among the ‘some people’ you are talking about. Don’t think because you are a big scholar you are more matured than those ‘some people’ you are condemning as immature. In fact, it is not ‘some people’ but most of humanity, which is still neurotic. You and I are part of this neurotic humanity and we have contributed to this collective neurosis by our thoughts, feelings and actions”. But the scholar argued “How can I include you among the immature. You are not an immature person. I can say for sure you are an enlightened person”. Master shot back: “How can you say that? What do you know about me? Everyday I am becoming more and more conscious of all the mud and filth within me. But still something in me thinks it is a wise sage because I have so many disciples and followers like you, who respect me as a wise man, nod your head adoringly at whatever I say and laugh at my jokes. This part in me which imagines itself to be a sage is still immature.” After a pause, Master said with a mischievous wink in his eyes. “So, you people are responsible for my immaturity”. The disciples laughed. Master looked at his disciples with an amusing smile and said again, “Do you now understand why I said you are responsible for my immaturity? When you laughed at my joke, I felt very flattered which increases my immaturity”. The disciples laughed again.