[‘Abdu’l-Baha] was asked, “How shall I overcome seeing the faults of others – recognizing the wrong in others?” and He replied: “I will tell you. Whenever you recognize the fault of another, think of yourself! What are my imperfections? – and try to remove them. Do this whenever you are tried through the words or deeds of others. Thus you will grow, become more perfect. You will overcome self, you will not even have time to think of the faults of others” (‘Abdu’l-Baha, Star of the West, Volume 8, No.10, p.138)
I’m having trouble with 3 of my neighbours, who are engaged in serious addictions, domestic violence and criminal activities, bringing the police to the building on a regular basis. Yesterday the landlord and victim services met with the tenants to discuss the latest event, which resulted in a full SWAT team swooping in to arrest 3 people charged with armed robbery. I no longer feel safe in my home. Several people have suggested I get to know them as people, without judgement or preconceived ideas and each time, I’ve rejected the idea out of hand. Why would I want to get to know these people? I’d rather hold on to my fear, judgement, suspicion and resentment. Ouch! This is not the behaviour I really want, as a Bahá’í trying to teach the Faith in my community! So this quote is timely.
This is why it’s so important to call ourselves to account each day, and see what behaviors we’d like to change. Following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s advice, I can ask myself: What is the fear beneath my judgement? What am I doing to cause people to be afraid of me? How am I pushing people away? What are my own addictions that prevent me from living the life, teaching the Faith and being of service to others? What can I do to be more loving and forgiving? How can I interact with them in a more positive way? What changes can I make myself and what do I need God’s help with? Have I prayed about it? Have I listened for God’s guidance and acted on it? I have work to do! See you tomorrow!
Knowing how to overcome seeing the faults in others, I am grateful!
What jumped out for you as you read today’s meditation? I’d love it if you would share so we can all expand our knowledge of the Writings!
If you liked this meditation, you might also like my book Letting Go of Criticizing Others