As heard on “This Thing Called Life” Radio Show, Sunday April 27, 1952—-
I remember a certain man who told me that he was having difficulty in getting along with people. He was an actor and a good one, but he could never seem to get along with his directors or producers or those who worked with him. They were always at loose ends.
I felt his real trouble lay deep within himself but he didn’t know this. It would have been unkind and useless to tell him that he was the one who was obstructing right relationships. He wouldn’t have believed this. And so I began by explaining to him that there is only one Life, which is God. This was easy for him to understand. I explained that his fine creative ability, as an actor was that he could feel the way other people thought. He could enter into the characters and personalities of other people and reproduce them at will – for this is the essence of all great acting.
He understood this well enough, but he didn’t know that back of it all there is but one Power. He hadn’t come to see that everyone with whom he was associated was rooted deep in the same life. Somewhere in his life he had received such a sense of rejection of not being wanted and needed and loved, that his whole reaction to life was one of self-defense, as though he were trying to get even with life.
As we talked together this idea of the reality of the one Presence in everyone gradually came to him. And then the day came when I was able to tell him that if he would meet the God in others then the God in others would respond to him.
Finally the whole thing dawned on him very clearly. He realized that he was actually cursing his environment. He was separating himself from his directors and his producers and those with whom he was associated through silently criticizing everything they did. And I said to him: “You really are cursing them in your mind. Of course you don’t mean to do this, but you are. Now I want you to reverse the whole process.” I gave him this old Chinese fable which says that it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. And then I said, “You are that candle.”