A wise man once showed me a blank sheet of paper, and asked me what I saw. "A sheet of paper," I replied. He then made a tiny dot on the sheet and held it up again. "Now what do you see?" he asked. I answered that I saw the tiny dot he had carefully made. He then asked me, "Why have you stopped looking at the rest of paper?"

It was then that I realized how much of our lives we spend looking at tiny dots rather than whole sheets of paper. We oftentimes focus on the single fault of another, and overlook the many worthwhile qualities of this person. We seldom count the many blessings we already have because we are too preoccupied with the many things we still want. After a choir has sung a whole concert of beautiful songs, why do we always remember the song which contained a single sour note?

Because we live in a fallen and imperfect world, no one of us is a perfect and unblemished piece of paper. We all have at least one dot, and most of us have many. But when we stop and think about it, even the sheet of paper with many dots on it has far larger areas that are clean and unmarked.

Of course, it would be dishonest to ignore the dots or to pretend that they are not there. But would it not make life more pleasant if we attempted to see the whole of the picture that others hold up to us? We must stop allowing the tiny dots, the faults of others, to over- shadow the many positve aspects of their personalities. Not only will this make others easier to love, it will help others to see the whole sheet of paper that we hold up as well.