Fly and bee.
St. Paisios of the Holy Mountain
I know from experience that in this life people are divided in two categories.A third category does not exist; people either belong to one or the other.
The first one resembles the fly. The main characteristic of the fly is that it is attracted by dirt. For example, when a fly is found in a garden full of flowers with beautiful fragrances, it will ignore them and will go sit on top of some dirt found on the ground. If the fly could talk, and you asked it to show you a rose in the garden, it would answer: “I don’t even know what a rose looks like. I only know where to find garbage, toilets and dirt.” There are some people who resemble the fly.People belonging to this category have learned to think negatively and always look for the bad things in life, ignoring and refusing the presence of good.
The other category is like the bee whose main characteristic is to always look for something sweet and nice to sit on. When a bee is found in a room full of dirt and there is a small piece of sweet in a corner, it will ignore the dirt and will go to sit on top of the sweet. Now, if we ask the bee to show us where the garbage is, it will answer: It only knows the good things in life and is ignorant of all evil. This is the second category of people who have a positive thinking and see only the good side of things. They always try to cover up the evil in order to protect their fellow men; on the contrary, people in the first category try to expose the evil and bring it to the surface.
When someone comes to me and starts accusing other people and puts me in a difficult situation, I tell him the above example. Then, I ask him to decide to which category he wishes to belong, so he may find people of the same kind to socialize with.
Elder Paisios was constantly stressing the importance of pious thinking in spiritual life. He used to say that a single positive thought equals a vigil in Mount Athos.
From Elder Paisios on the Holy Mountain by PriestMonk Christodoulos, p.43-44,(1998),Holy Mountain http://www.pigizois.net/agglika/paisios/09.htm
The only thing Christ is asking from us is our humility. The rest is taken care of by His Grace…Christ is all love, kindness and consolation, and He never stifles man, but possesses an abundance of spiritual oxygen — divine consolation.
Those who suffer deeply for the salvation of the whole world and help in their own way (as strugglers) and humbly entrust themselves to the hands of God, feel the greatest joy in the world….There is no man more intelligent than the merciful one who gives away earthly, perishable things and buys imperishable, heavenly things.
Those who do not put themselves in the place of their suffering fellow man are deserted by God, experience a terrible fall, and learn to feel pain. Those, on the other hand, who feel compassion, care for other people, and ignore their own selves, are protected by God and are looked after both by God and by men.
In all things we must put forth good thoughts and refuse to accept evil telegrams” if we want to purify our heart and change the evil machines of the heart into good machines; then gold will be turned into holy chalices and broken bells into chandeliers.’ When, however, the heart is evil and it views good gold as bronze, it will make it into bullets and cannonballs.
”A clean heart create in me, O God, and a right spirit renew in my inmost parts.” The Father is my hope, the Son my refuge, the Holy Spirit my protection: All-Holy Trinity, glory to You!