“Wow, she is so absent-minded,” I say into the headset to my sister-in-law as I head to my kitchen sink. “To think that I called her to tell her the news and an hour later she calls me to tell me the news, and I say, ‘uh, right, you know because I called you about it’.”
My sister-in-law chuckles with me as we both puzzle about our relative’s absent-minded nature. I mean how could she, only an hour later, call me with the news I called her about, I muse as I place my now-full crystal water pitcher on the stove and turn the knob. Ooops, I filled the water pitcher not the kettle. Ha, aren’t I funny. Hah, so I’m absent-minded, too.
Many is the time we note the flaws and idiosyncrasies of others. The rest of the time we gloss over, excuse and rationalize our own.
Loving your friend like you love yourself means to tolerate other folks’ mishigasen as well as you tolerate your own. It means embracing them with all their flaws, just as you accept yourself. It means glossing over their mistakes and embracing their triumphs.
Rabbi Manis Friedman writes in Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore that the difference between Noach’s sons is that one saw his father in a disgraceful state and saw something to laugh at and mock. The other two saw their father and said, “here is something that needs to be covered.” For don’t we do that for ourselves all too often, cover our inadequacies. Let’s do that for our fellow, too.