From The Collected Poems Of Thomas Merton comes this bit of enduring and broadly applicable wisdom, discovered today by happenstance.
The better we know ourselves – our lies, our hatreds, our cruelties, our failures – the less disappointed we should be in the other, whether arising from that person standing directly in front of us, or from the totality of humanity itself.
The truth is, as Romans so well instructs, we all fall short. And it will always be thus:
As for the liar, fear him less
Than one who thinks himself sincere,
Who, having deceived himself,
Can deceive you with a good conscience.
One who doubts his own truth
May distrust another less;
Knowing in his own heart,
That all men are liars
He will be less outraged
When deceived by another