“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.