There have always been and there will always be issues and attitudes. What is generally overlooked is the relativity of each to the other. If there is anything that I have learned in my existence on this earthly plane, it is that nothing can ever happen to us, good, bad or indifferent, that is as important as our attitude toward it! It is that attitude toward any occurrence that determines the difference between obstacle or opportunity, stumbling block, or stepping stone.
“There is little difference between people” began an interesting article that has remained indelible in my mind through the years. “But that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it’s positive or negative. Whether or not this predominant influence is innate or learned behavior can be argued throughout time, but the fact remains that it strongly influences our attitude, which in turn influences our thoughts and behavior toward others and subsequently, theirs toward us.
In infancy, mankind was academically, scientifically, and technologically weak but spiritually strong. With maturity, however, the opposite occurs. From infancy, love and fear are the two primary controlling factors of behavior. The major difference whether in infancy or maturity, is love and fear of what? The physical infant is controlled by fear of darkness, loneliness, physical pain or discomfort, rejection, etc. until mature enough to hopefully experience the progressive love of a parent, teacher, sweetheart, mate, offspring, and their offspring. The spiritual infant’s path is very similar until some- where in between it experiences love and fear of one’s Creator and of His creation, which begets the ultimate “attitude of gratitude!” Without an attitude of gratitude, with maturity and the acquisition of knowledge and material things often come feelings of self-sufficiency and selfishness. Unchanged by time, there’s evidence that those with the least are the ones most willing to share it. The more we acquire,
the higher the fences and walls of exclusion we erect between others and ourselves including close family ties. Consequently, we continue to create new issues with old attitudes and remain oblivious to the fact that we are only accumulating a few false friends while making true enemies.
The greatest issue for each of us it seems is the constant struggle, not only against the forces around us but primarily against those within us–our own EGO (Edging God Out).
We are advised in the Baha’i Holy writings to never dwell too much on the attitudes and feelings of others toward us. “What is more important is to foster love and harmony and ignore any rebuffs we receive. In this way the weakness of human nature and the peculiarity or attitude of any particular person is not magnified but instead pales into insignificance in comparison with our joint service” to our Creator and His creation– the good and the bad, the lovable and especially the unlovable who need love more than anyone.