Here’s an illustration that I used Sunday, hoping to show how the faults that people see in others are often their own.
There were two town in those parts of the country: Brownsville and Burnsville. By wagon they were a half-day journey from each other. There was a farmer whose field sat between these two towns.
One day this farmer was out tilling his field. He noticed a loaded wagon coming his way from Brownsville, headed towards Burnsville. Upon approaching the farmer’s land, he stopped and engaged the farmer in conversation.
Soon, the farmer inquired of his loaded wagon. The man replied, “My family is moving to Burnsville. That’s why our wagon is all loaded up.”
The farmer replied, “How did you like living in Brownsville?”
His face lit up as he said, “Our days in Brownsville were wonderful! We found the people in the city to be most helpful and courteous to us. If ever we needed anything, we could always find someone to help out. The people there were all so loving and thankful, especially the civic leaders. We found the schools to be good for our children, especially the teachers, who seemed to go out of their ways to guide our children. We loved Brownsville. The only reason we are moving is because of my job. But, there’s a new job waiting for us in Burnsville. Tell me, do you know much about Burnsville?”
“I do. I think that you will find Burnsville to be much the same as Brownsville.”
After a few more pleansantries, the man, his wagon and his family continued onto to Burnsville.
A few hours later, the scene seemed to repeat itself. The farmer was still out working his field and another loaded wagon came plodding down the road, pulled by two horses. Only this time, the wagon was coming from Burnsville and headed toward Brownsville. Again, the farmer engaged the man driving the horses in conversation. This man too was moving his family because of his job.
The farmer then asked the gentleman, “How did you like living in Burnsville.”
The man’s face soured as he replied, “We hated it. The people there were so unfriendly. They all seemed to keep to themselves, and hardly anyone spoke with us. They all seemed so suspicious of everything. The mayor is corrupt and the schools were terrible for our children. I think that their teachers actually were out to see that our children didn’t do well in school. We are glad to leave, hoping that Brownsville will treat us better. Tell me, do you know much about Brownsville?”
“I do. I think that you will find Brownsville to be much the same as Burnsville.”
With that, they parted ways.