Be gentle to yourself for what you didn’t know. Be gentle with yourself for what you aren’t able to do now, and be gentle on others for what they don’t know. Ridiculing people who need to change only makes them defensive, and ridiculing ourselves makes us mentally tight and unable to learn.
In my time as a teacher, I’ve seen people with the nastiest attitude turn into kind and thoughtful riders. In fact, these are often more receptive to change than people who already think they are good riders.
If there’s anything I’ve learned it’s to be gentle – gentle to ourselves, to the horses, and to others. It has always paid off for me.