Foster the Beautiful

“Foster the beautiful, and every hour thou callest new flowers to birth.” – Schiller James Wood, Dictionary of Quotations,  1899

The secret to unlocking the full potential of any of your relationships – be they lovers, colleagues, family or friends – is found in taking the time to foster the beautiful qualities you recognize in them. This should be a regular exercise, not just something reserved for birthdays, anniversaries, victories, and the like.

If you cultivate in yourself (nota bene: this begins in your heart) a deep appreciation for that which is wonderful, beautiful, and special about those with whom you are privileged to associate and then emphasize those qualities in your interactions with them, you will find a general relaxation of the tensions which would otherwise gnaw away at the fabric of the relationship. In so doing you will find yourself resorting less to the weak-minded and shallow-hearted approaches which lead people to say things like: “I can’t put my finger on it, but something about her just irritates me”, “I love him to death, but I just can’t look past…”, or as they say here in the South, “Bless her heart.”

The phrase “Bite off your nose to spite your face” would quickly fade into oblivion were this point handled as I suggest today. We need one another. None of us is complete in and of oneself; we need one another. I complete you, you complete me. The individuals who make up the body of humanity are well to realize that the body of humanity is one body, no matter how different in form and function the hand may appear from the ear.

Put in religious terms, each one must realize that cursing another (or cursing oneself) is, in effect, cursing the God who made them. It is pure, unadulterated blame, stained with defiance and varnished with willful rationalizations. The withdrawal of love is never justified.

Appreciation brings pressure to bear on that which is not consistent with the underlying core of love in those with whom you associate. You must never forget that that core of love is always present in others, no matter how things appear on the surface of their expression. Don’t be fooled by appearances. That core is always there, always intact, always perfect, and poised to be made manifest, even through the slightest aperture.

Your job is to say to the world around you, “I see that light in you, I know that window has not closed.” There may be a profound darkness upon the face of the deep of their expression, but you must not react to the void. Treat them how you would, in your heart of hearts, wish to be treated. Be patient and understanding, but don’t let them off the hook through reaction or sympathetic agreement with the justifications they have used to defy the natural expression of the light within them.

We are capable of so much more than we have revealed over the last few millennia. Patting ourselves on the back for our scientific advances, accumulation of knowledge, and the acceleration of the pace of “progress” while ignoring the crying need on this front is a terrible mistake. Without a strong foundation of respect, love and appreciation for one another, these developments will ultimately backfire.

We are not fated to fail. You are not programmed to compete your way to an unfulfilling and untimely end. You are here to reveal your inner majesty by fostering the beautiful in those with whom you are privileged to serve. But such a life is not a given; you must work deliberately, thoughtfully, and lovingly to overcome the inertia of cursing.

9 thoughts on “Foster the Beautiful

  1. Carol

    We do need one another. There is a deliberate choice to be made when something arises with another that you just do not like or causes a flash of irritation. It is infinitely more creative and enjoyable to turn away from that which would destroy and see what unfolds when you meet that feeling with a kind and reasonable heart. I’ve been very surprised at outcomes that I wouldn’t have imagined whenever I’ve done just that. I love the last line of the poem Carmen shared of Rumi’s. “Open your heart, and you will hear the lutes of the Angels.” We need to get good at this. The right way to handle these issues that arise is always present but our hearts must be open. Thank you Gregg!


  2. David R

    It is sadly true that, in the midst of so much scientific and intellectual advance, human beings have remained in the dark ages spiritually. this is true not because there has not been inspiration or example of the fineness natural to any individual, but because people have tended to ignore the clear starting points they did and do have.

    I recall the words of a song: “Have you made amends? And how have you treated your friends?” To treat others – friends and foes for that matter – with the same kindness, reasonableness, generosity and understanding that I would appreciate – what a profoundly simple and clear starting point for all relationships! An how quickly a fresh influence can thrive in the atmosphere created by this approach!


  3. Joy

    Thank you for these profound words Gregg. I loved that you gave the key to success in the following phrase…”Appreciation brings pressure to bear on that which is not consistent with the underlying core of love in those with whom you associate”. This applies to those elements within myself that need to have the light of love shone on them and all the frustrating or irritating little situations that transpire on a daily basis. The light of love is the only way to let all things be made new. The keys you offer today are in my view the keys to a fulfilling life, how grateful I am for your blog Gregg, it helps me keep the essences of love formost in my living.


  4. Dr Steven Ventola

    I am intrigued by your concluding words to overcome the inertia of cursing. Looking up the word inertia one of the references cited states,”lack of movement or activity especially when movement or activity is wanted or needed, tendency to remain unchanged.” Obviously there needs to be a change for the tendency to curse our world whether it be in another or in ourself. Here has been the cause of misery. Your words provide a doorway for clear and simple action to take appreciating the highest and finest in one another. Sometimes stating the obvious is required to uncover that which been blanketed from layers of accumulated dust from inertia. At the point of the fall of man this has been happening for centuries establishing deeper and further the patterns of the resistance to change. Having an awareness of what has been the state of affairs of humanity and acknowledging that the core beauty of ourselves has always been and is present looking for whatever release points that are in fact available makes for an awakening in myself to play my part in overcoming the inertia of cursing and enjoying the experience of life. This makes for a wonderful life experience.


  5. DeeDee Miller

    Wow!! There are so many worthy points here! Having recently attended a large family birthday party, I can relate to the sentiment that there is a responsibility reserved not just unto special occasions. But how fun to take advantage of the special occasions such as this recent party where I found myself extra thankful for those who truly are my lifetime lot to be with through thick and thin! Whether it is within the framework of a large gathering or just one-on-one, there is advantage to be taken to “foster the beautiful”. Wading through the cursing aspects may not always be pretty, but a true friend is one who constantly keeps the finish line in his or her sights and has the attitude, “How are we going to work together to let the light shine here?” Often times the act of cursing has behind it extreme heartache, the side effect of which can paralyze a person. In the law of inertia you have no acceleration of any kind. You are not moved unless there is something that compels you to change. Cursing affects our velocity. What am I allowing to dictate my own footsteps, and what am I impressing upon others when it is obvious their acceleration is breaking down and a change needs to be inspired? Thank you for your words this morning to remind me that my greatest privilege as a friend, sister, wife, mother, colleague, is to sensitively, with wisdom and kindness, seek to steer the momentum under the edict that, from God’s standpoint, failure is not an option (:


  6. Lady Leo

    Loving one another was one of the direct instructions given to us. It does begin in our heart. The heart is the lens thru which we view each other. In addition our hearts are also the originator of our own words and actions. As we each work to purify our heart we clean up our own behavior and in turn can see the beauty in another. Wonderful post and really ground zero for creating lasting change in the world.


  7. Troy

    Wonderful words for consideration today. This is an area we all need to refine within our heart of hearts. Our job can’t be done otherwise.


  8. Isabelle

    If our efforts are focused more on appreciation (adding value) and less on depreciation (losing value) with our fellow human beings, we will find that our lives inherently become more valuable.


  9. Carmen

    I would like to share a poem with you this morning, if I might. It was written by Rumi, and is named Hidden Music: Love means to reach for the sky with every breath to tear a hundred veils. Love means to step away from the ego, to open the eyes of inner vision and not take this world so seriously. Congratulations dear heart! You have joined the circle of lovers. Tell me in your own words when did all this throbbing begin? I was absorbed in my work in this world but I never lost my longing for home. One day, exhausted with no strength left, I was lifted suddenly by the grace of Love. To describe this mystery there are no words. Open your heart, and you will hear the lutes of the Angels.


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