As we get older, many of us become aware of how often we have hurt the people we love most — our parents, spouses, and children. When confronted by those whom we have hurt, we apologize and explain why we acted as we did. We want them to understand that our intentions were not impure, even though our behavior was wrong.
In short, we should try to use the same criteria for judging others as we use — and want others to use — for judging ourselves. If we judge others harshly, condemning them on the basis of one or two possibly uncharacteristic actions, we deserve to be judged by the same standard. Rabbie Avrohom Ehrman cites a characteristic example: "Did you ever excuse yourself by saying, 'That's the way I am! That's the way I was brought up! It's [very difficult, almost impossible] for me to change! All right, so I'm not perfect. Other people aren't perfect in other ways.' The next time you jump to condemn someone, put yourself in his place and say: 'That's the way he is! That's the way he was brought up! It's impossible for him to change! All right, so he's not perfect. Other people aren't perfect in other ways.'. . ."— Joseph Telushkin in A Code of Jewish Ethics: Volume 1