“If a man receives a counterfeit dollar he does not straightway lose his faith in all money,—at least there are not such instances on record in this country. If he has a run of three or four days of dull weather he does not say ‘the sun ceases to exist, there are surely no bright days to come in the whole calendar of time.’
If a man’s breakfast is rendered an unpleasant memory by some item of food. That has outlived its usefulness, he does not forswear eating. If a man finds under a tree an apple with a suspicious looking hole on onside, he does not condemn the whole orchard; he simply confines his criticism to that apple. But he who has helped some one who, later, did not pass a good examination on gratitude, says in a voice plaintive with the consciousness of injury, and with a nod of his head the implies the wisdom of Solomon; ‘I have had my experience, I have learned my lesson. This is the last time I will have faith in any man. I did this for him and that for him, and now, look at the result!’
Then he unrolls a long schedule of favors, carefully itemized and added up, till it seems the payroll of a great city. He complains of the injustice of one man, yet he is willing to be unjust to the whole world, making it bear the punishment of the wrong of an individual. There is too much vicarious suffering already in this earth of ours without this Lilliputian attempt to extend it by syndicating one man’s ingratitude. If one man drinks to excess, it is not absolute justice to send the whole world to jail.” ~ William George Jordan
People form groups for all kinds of reasons. They have a common outlook, mutual interest or shared purpose. Book clubs. Churches. Political parties. Fantasy football leagues. Facebook friends. Ethnic groups. Nations. And the list goes on.
You no doubt belong to clubs, groups, online forums and the like, but have you given much thought to the syndicates you form and join by virtue of the daily attitudes you take in relation to the situations you face? Every time you express emotion or broadcast an attitude, you are plugging yourself into a largely invisible network of individuals who share your view on life.
Every ill spirit and bad attitude springs from a failure to orient in love or one of its many derivatives, including, but not limited to: like, care, healing, genuine concern or blessing. To the degree that you give an ill spirit residence in your heart, you are “plugged into” the network of hatred and its derivatives. This does not corrupt you entirely, but it does limit your effectiveness in living.
The same is true for those around you. The content of the heart and the way in which it is expressed gives evidence of underlying orientation. Most people exhibit a thorough mixture of orientation, carrying themselves nobly under certain circumstances and in some areas of their lives while acting sub-optimally in others. You, in your dealings with the world around you, are likely to come in contact with the “mixed” state on a daily basis, and you must take great care to separate that which merits your attention and support and that which must be either ignored or discouraged.
You must further take care not to paint the whole world with your momentary observations and discoveries. To do so gives evidence of a dreadfully unscientific and astigmatic approach to living. Regardless of how they got there, the mixtures are what they are. It is best to deal with them to the best of your ability and then move on. Don’t linger. Don’t dwell on them. Don’t obsess about them. They will drive you crazy if you choose – yes it is a choice! – to let them.
You need not let the shortcomings in others be reason for you to buy a lifetime membership in the syndicates of complaint, victimization or blame. The world will offer you a million and one reasons to join the many groups of people who have given up on the magic of life.
The choice, my dear readers, is yours.