Holding on to what is good
I notice when I go to Youtube or Facebook that I rarely see zero "dislikes" or "thumbs down": Even the most unselfish sharing or giving by someone, uploading videos about baking, fixing things, presenting a piece of classical music, cooking, teaching Yoga, helping with travel planning etc. has rarely - or never - 100% "thumbs up". This means that someone may go well out of his or her league, donate time, money, and effort and still meets with criticism, as mysteriously as this is.
Dislike is not a constructive criticism and it doesn't help, it is plain disapproval. And for me the question is answered whether we spend our days defining what we don't like or rather define to our own heart what is constructive, what uplifts and cheers ourselves and others on. And it even carries over into the question how to handle plain opposition or aversion directed at us. Do we need to click the dislike button?
There are spiritual reasons for considering the use of "like/dislike" on a metaphysical basis. We live in a mental world and there is behind something as mundane as clicking buttons in the web a thought.
It is my sense that a Christian or spiritually minded thinker has not even a "dislike" button at his or her disposal. You have a "like" button... and if there is nothing to like, you simply don't click on it. My reason for this perspective has to do with Mary Baker Eddy and with Paul.
In her book No and Yes, Mary Baker Eddy gives valuable advice on how to treat other people (p.8:3-6):
"We should endeavor to be long-suffering, faithful, and charitable with all. To this small effort let us add one more privilege — namely, silence whenever it can substitute censure."
It is an exquisite and worthwhile exercise in ego-busting to refrain from criticism - or censure - and instead attempt to nurture what you can work with: The good, the wise, the constructive. How powerful silence can be in the face of something worthy of real criticism know those who have tested it. There is real humility in letting someone else be wrong, in silence. This does not turn you into a lap dog but reflects the spiritual authority that each one of us has within the realm of Love. And that is where we are, our habitat, our living space.
Paul emphasizes a similar idea:
"Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. (I Thess. 5: 21,22. NLT)
You are encouraged to take a closer look, but then you hold on to what is good and don't waste time by dissecting what is not good. I am in the middle of improving a habit of not clicking "dislike" on any human being, ever.
I am deeply grateful for the clear, practical inspiration by those spiritual light towers that had enough compassion to share their secrets of success with us. They are telling us: Can't you see that you are not alone? Take a look and see: All of you together are one big "We".
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
I support the UN Refuge Agency. Want to join me?
"Sunrise of Africa".
Want to join me?