A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Plow Field

Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being ‘perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect’ and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will- power and energy.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 92)


If we allow our attention and energy to be taken up in efforts to keep others right and remedy their faults, we are wasting precious time. We are like ploughmen each of whom has his team to manage and his plough to direct, and in order to keep his furrow straight he must keep his eye on his goal and concentrate on his own task. If he looks to this side and that to see how Tom and Harry are getting on and to criticize their ploughing, then his own furrow will assuredly become crooked.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 92)


It is my hope that you may consider this matter, that you may search out your own imperfections and not think of the imperfections of anybody else. Strive with all your power to be free from imperfections. Heedless souls are always seeking faults in others. What can the hypocrite know of others’ faults when he is blind to his own?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 244)


Let your thoughts dwell on your own spiritual development, and close your eyes to the deficiencies of other souls.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 203)


Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words 13)


See ye, therefore, to your own tasks: guide ye the people and educate them in the ways of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Deliver to mankind this joyous message from the Bahá Realm. Rest not, by day or night; seek ye no moment’s peace. Strive ye with all your might to bring to men’s ears these happy tidings. In your love for God and your attachment to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, accept ye every tribulation, every sorrow.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 245-246)


There is only one remedy for this: to study the administration, to obey the Assemblies, and each believer seek to perfect his own character as a Bahá’í. We can never exert the influence over others which we can exert over ourselves. If we are better, if we show love, patience, and understanding of the weakness of others, if we seek to never criticize but rather encourage, others will do likewise, and we can really help the Cause through our example and spiritual Strength.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 83)


This is the meaning of the words in the Seven Valleys. It is a guide for human conduct. As long as a man does not find his own faults, he can never become perfect. Nothing is more fruitful for man than the knowledge of his own shortcomings. The Blessed Perfection says, “I wonder at the man who does not find his own imperfections.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 244-245)


When others fall short of the standards of a Bahá’í way of life, we can demonstrate the Bahá’í pattern of life and love and encourage them to do the same, while taking refuge in the knowledge that this process takes time. Though these shortcomings may slow the progress of the Faith they will not ultimately defeat it. But when we find ourselves falling short we must add to this response the high resolve to “gain victory over (our) own selves” as speedily as possible, as a mercy to ourselves and to our fellow men, so that others may be attracted to the Faith without hindrance.
(Universal House of Justice, Quickeners of Mankind, p. 120)