Correcting the Heart

Aaron - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on January 20, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I know I need to be confident in who I am and my accomplishments, however, sometimes I feel that despite my accomplishments when others point out my weaknesses it makes me less of a person. I wonder if others feel the same way? Is it better to point out that someone has a piece of food between their teeth or to let them be ignorant of the apparent taboo?

I was a missionary for our church. You know, the ones that come around in white shirts, ties, nametags, and all of our first names seem to be Elder? It was time to head home at the end of the day. My colleague and I went back to our hole-in-the-wall apartment; the apartment had painted cinderblock walls, and the old shag carpeting had stains all over it. The kitchen was small enough to belong to one of the seven dwarfs. As we arrived at the apartment, my colleague turned to me and said, “How did you think the day went?”

“Crappie!” I said

“I thought so too.” He replied, “That’s what happens when we do it your way.”

His comment started me to boil inside like a teapot. “Elder,” I blurted, “It takes the two of us to be successful. Why would you say something like that?” We yelled at each other for some time. I had never been so mad at someone before. Finally, I asked, “Why do you just want to point out my faults?”

“You can point out my faults too,” He replied.

“Well, whenever I do, you always put it back on me and say if you do this then I will change.” He could tell that I had had enough. I was silent. Then something amazing happened, he turned to me and said, “You know I am not perfect either, I struggle with my imperfections too, but it wasn’t until I had a friend who wasn’t afraid to point them out, that I truly was able to start to grow past my faults.” We talked about our similar faults. I realized then that we were similar in the struggles we faced.

I don’t know exactly what happened inside me that day, but I saw what he was really trying to do. He really did want to improve, and he wanted me to do the same. He actually cared about me becoming better. I believe people around us are generally good. As I have looked for similarities between myself and others rather than the differences, I have seen that even the greatest gaps can be bridged. Correction truly is a tool of personal progress.