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There were three friends…and the first chose to reconcile those who were fighting against each other, as it is said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”  The second friend chose to visit the sick.  The third went to live in prayer and stillness in the desert.

Now in spite of all his labors, the first could not make peace in all men’s’ quarrels, and in his sorrow he went to the one who was serving the sick and found him also disheartened.

So they went to see the one who was living in stillness and prayer and told him their difficulties.  After a short silence, he poured water into a bowl and said to them, “Look at the water,” and it was disturbed.  He said, “Look again,” and they could see their faces reflected in the still water.

Then he said, “It is the same for those who live among men; disturbance prevents them from seeing their faults; but when a man is still, then he sees his failings.”

A wise telling from the Desert Fathers.