Imagine a young couple out walking around their new home area. They do not know much about the place so they decide to explore. They have a coffee in a small café and get talking to an older lady sitting nearby. "What are the people in this town like?" the young woman asks.
"What were they like in your last town?" replied the lady.
"They were kind, generous, and would do anything for you if you were in trouble."
"Well, I think you will find them much the same in this town."
It was later on when they walked into a shop that made them think about their new town. The man had asked the sales assistant the same question: "What are the people in this town like?"
The conversation followed similarly to that of the old woman in the café. The man described his memories of his former home as a terrible place. "To tell you the truth," he said, "I was glad to get out of it. The people there were mean, unkind, and nobody would lift a finger to help you if you were in trouble."
"I'm afraid, you'll find them much the same in this town" replied the shop assistant.
The main point of this story is: We see other people not as they are but as we are. If we see people in a bad light, it is a sign that we are ill at ease with ourselves. Anyone who is not at peace with their self spreads a contagion of conflict around her.
Unless we love ourselves we cannot love others properly. So to begin with we must love ourselves.