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When I Point My Finger #MondayMusings

I remember learning a song when I was a kid. It went something like this -‘When I point my finger at my neighbour, there are three more pointing back at me. I searched all over for the lyrics and was happy to find them. For your singing pleasure, they’re at the bottom of this post!*

Why was I looking for this song? I thought of it because of something that happened to me recently.

I was involved in a project and found that one of the key persons though very well qualified and accomplished was terribly insecure about my involvement. I sensed that he couldn’t wait for me to disappear from the scene. In fact, his behaviour went against common courtesy towards the end of the meeting. I was somewhat taken aback, because I had been invited by his colleagues, had kept him in the loop about my participation and was very polite to him. My first reaction to his behaviour was one of anger and hurt, although I kept quiet. As I analysed his behaviour, I realized that he saw me as a threat. I was surprised at his insecurity.

It was easy for me to label his behaviour. Easy to find fault with him. Easy to say, ‘That’s his problem, not mine’ and move on. Which is what I did.

However, as I wrote my Morning Pages a few days later, I had a moment of self-conviction. I realised that I had acted in a similar fashion with someone else. Only it was online. I felt threatened by someone. I found occasion to paint her in a poor light. Finally, I totally cut her out of my circle.

This happened almost a year ago.

Not so easy to label my behaviour. Not so easy to find fault with me. Harder to say I have a problem. Still harder to apologise. I’m working on that.

when you point your finger

Do you find yourself in a similar situation sometimes?


#MondayMusings is an invitation to share your thoughts – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. It was started on Write Tribe and I will be doing a #MondayMusings post here or on Write Tribe every Monday, effective today.

Today I’m happy to be co-hosting this with the lovely Parul Kashyap Thakur of Happiness and Food.

Join us by writing a #MondayMusings post on your blog. Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and then add your link here. Visit the other blogs linked here.





*You can sing along with the song here.

Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
There are three more pointing back at me;
The little one says, “You’re not so hot,
If you blame the other fellow then you’re on the spot!”
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
It just ain’t honesty,
‘Cos in my heart I feel that I first must deal
With the three that are pointing at me.
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
There are three more pointing back at me;
The second one says, “Go easy, mate!
You ain’t cleaned the rubbish from your own back gate!”
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
It just ain’t honesty,
‘Cos I realise I must first get wise
To the three that are pointing at me.
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
There are three more pointing back at me;
The third one says, “Supposing you
Had to run the country, what would you do?
Oh would you point your finger at your neighbour?
Where would this nation be?”
Well I couldn’t wait so I soon got straight
With the three that are pointing at me.
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
There are three more pointing back at me
They seem to say, “See here my lad,
Maybe you are just about three times as bad!”
Oh when I point my finger at my neighbour
It just ain’t honesty,
‘Cos in my heart I feel that I first must deal
With the–“What’ll I do?” “What’ll I do?”
What are we going to be doing about the
One, two, three that are pointing back at me?


  1. Ajay Pai Ajay Pai June 14, 2015

    Bravo! Corinne. It takes courage to introspect. Definitely a good phrase and a poem to ponder upon.
    Ajay Pai recently posted..Pete, Is that You?My Profile

  2. Lottie Lottie June 13, 2015

    So true Corinne! I think often when we find ourselves being critical of others we are actually holding a mirror up to the behaviors in ourselves that we don’t like….. Yet it can still be all too easy to start criticizing others.
    What’s the saying about living in a greenhouse?… 😉
    Lottie recently posted..How Rational Is Your Fear? #ShowFearTheFingerMy Profile

  3. Debbie D. Debbie D. June 12, 2015

    Oh yes, much easier to point the finger at somebody else than to find fault within ourselves. Your honesty is refreshing, Corinne.
    Apologizing is always difficult and fortunately, this hasn’t come up too often, but I try to be self-deprecating about it. Takes the edge off.
    Debbie D. recently posted..SAVOUR THE MEMORIESMy Profile

  4. Alex Alex June 11, 2015

    Oh, I sometimes remember situations when I hurt other people and feel ashamed – me too. I have pity for those people, I blame myself… But I understand that such a behavior is… well, not very constructive. And I decided just to learn to draw conclusions from such situations, from such mistakes of mine (so that I don’t make them anymore), but not to torment myself with the aforementioned pity and blame.
    Alex recently posted..How To Get Over ShynessMy Profile

  5. nabanita nabanita June 11, 2015

    You know Corinne, I have had such moments where I have acted in a way which perhaps wasn’t the right way to… I have apologized a few times while at others I haven’t quite found it in me to do the same…You are right, it is easy to see the wrongs others do but we often overlook when we behave in a similar fashion…
    nabanita recently posted..Move Beyond Regional ChauvinismMy Profile

  6. April April June 11, 2015

    100% Guilty in so many areas of life, though I am getting better!!

  7. G Angela G Angela June 10, 2015

    So very true Corinne ! yesterday I was with a student helping him to deal with his problem; he was blaming a family member for whatever situation he was in; and I was listening and gently encouraging him to take responsibility for his thoughts…. and while still in session, there were 3 fingers pointing at myself of what I had done in a different situation, blamed the person and judged harshly.. ..I felt bad and re framed old thoughts with a new one to be kind.. I am still learning, thank you for sharing..

  8. Robyn Robyn June 10, 2015

    OH MY GOODNESS! I use the point your finger phrase with my kids. I started saying it to them when they were little to try and curb the use of pointing at people. I had NO IDEA it was a song! Thanks for sharing it. I shall begin to learn and sing it at random times (I do that a lot…sing songs randomly and out of the blue) 🙂
    Robyn recently posted..The Tale of a List: 5 Take Aways from Summer of FunMy Profile

  9. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando June 9, 2015

    It is all too easy to be judgmental of others. I catch myself doing the same from time to time and needing to go to the Lord for forgiveness. I’ll be mindful about pointing that finger from here on out, Corinne. 🙂
    Martha Orlando recently posted..The Time of DayMy Profile

  10. Kalpanaa Kalpanaa June 9, 2015

    This is so true. I love the way you remind us to be mindful Corinne. It’s these little things that are so important. Cheers.
    Kalpanaa recently posted..Street Art – DelhiMy Profile

  11. Lata Lata June 9, 2015

    Corninne, hats off for being able to so honestly introspect
    Lata recently posted..G2G – God to God!My Profile

  12. Sanch Sanch June 9, 2015

    I think we have all been guilty of this at some point or the other in life. Self-reflection is the only thing that will make us aware of it; else we will probably cruise through life blissfully unaware of our faults. 🙂
    Sanch recently posted..Travel Tales: San Francisco. Or Hipster-town.My Profile

  13. Alana Alana June 9, 2015

    It is quite difficult (well, almost impossible) to step outside of ourselves, especially in an emoitional situation, and really understand our own behavior. No, the fault is always that of the other person. I also find it difficult to admit wrong and apologize. It’s been a while since I’ve thought of the expression “when I point my finger….” I don’t remember a song associated with it but it’s a good thing to teach children. Best that you learn this lesson while you are young.
    Alana recently posted..The Golden HourMy Profile

  14. Shantala Shantala June 9, 2015

    I agree. It is easy to find fault with others, but difficult to accept our own mistakes and ask for forgiveness. It takes a lot of courage to even admit that we might have been wrong. You are braver than me. I am not there yet. I am working towards it. This is a very thought provoking post. Thanks for sharing, Corinne.
    Shantala recently posted..The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni | Book ReviewMy Profile

  15. Parul Parul June 8, 2015

    Thanks Corinne! I enjoyed co-hosting with you today! That’s a great post and yes, perfect to think about as the week begins..
    Parul recently posted..#MondayMusings – Take a ChanceMy Profile

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