I’ve always been a big James Allen fan. Allen believed there are four tendencies in the human mind which interfere with our ability to get along. The four tendencies are: Pride; Self-love; Hatred; and Condemnation.
Allen was convinced if we’ll be a little more modest, a little less interested in our own petty wants and wishes, a little slower at tossing the first stone, and a little faster appreciating people we have yet to understand, there’s a good chance we can become friends with people we never dreamed of knowing.
The four foundation stones which contribute to friendship are: Humility; Self-surrender; Love; and Compassion. Whenever these four things are present, there exists a possibility for unity and peace. The problem is these things run contrary to human nature. I don’t always want to put my neighbor’s interests first. I find it hard to bite my tongue, to control my temper, and especially hard to love people who disagree with me. And my compassion tank, oh my! that runs awfully low at times.
In Allen’s words: “Where two are determined to maintain an opposing opinion, the clinging to self and ill-will are there, and Brotherhood is absent. Where two are prepared to sympathize with each other, to see no evil in each other, to serve and not to attack each other, the Love of Truth and Good-will are there, and Brotherhood is present. All strifes, divisions, and wars inhere in the proud, unyielding self; all peace, unity, and concord inhere in the Principles which the yielding up of self reveals. Brotherhood is only practiced and known by him [her] whose heart is at peace with all the world.”
I want a heart at peace with all the world.