Saturday, June 05, 2010

On Ten Deadly Sins: Causes of contention and conflict in community

Bosch's Seven Deadly Sins

Wikipedia: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, completed in 1485

What is destructive of community? My Ruhi Baha'i study circle is currently addressing the subject, our workbook listing ten "traits of character and individual shortcomings that are often causes of contention and conflict."

1. Desire to dominate others
2. Desire to control everything
3. Desire to be the center of attention
4. Ambition for prestige
5. Inflexibility
6. Defensiveness
7. Jelousy and envy
8. Lack of generosity
9. Contempt for other people's ideas
10. Lack of faith in other people

As obviously bad as these 10 "deadly sins" are, to attribute these qualities to an individual is contrary to the Baha'i teachings. That, in itself, would contribute to disharmony. We are invited to, instead, in the words of the Ruhi book, "view such characteristics as signs of immaturity or as habits of thinking and behavior that individuals carry with them into the Faith." But even then, we should not "dismiss others as immature." We are all on a path towards greater maturity, afterall, and this immaturity is simply "one of the features of the current stage in the unfoldment of our collective life." -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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