we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions

E. F. Schumacher, in A Guide for the Perplexed:

Since …we tend to see ourselves primarily in the light of our intentions, which are invisible to others, while we see others mainly in the light of their actions, which are visible to us, we have a situation in which misunderstanding and injustice are the order of the day.

…Genuine understanding of one’s neighbor is replaced by sentimentality, which, of course, crumbles into nothingness as soon as self-interest is threatened and fear of any kind is aroused. Knowledge is replaced by assumptions, trite theories, fantasies. The enormous popularity of the crudest and meanest psychological and economic doctrines, purporting to ‘explain’ the actions and motives of others—never of ourselves!—shows the disastrous consequences of the current lack of competence in [understanding the interior worlds of others], which, in turn, is the direct result of the modern refusal to attend to …self-knowledge.

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