St. Paisios the Athonite On Positive Thinking
Once, a journalist, who had a negative way of thinking about everything, visited Elder Paisios. He began asking the Elder about various things and making him feel in distress. At one point, he asked him:
– Why are staying here in the peace and quietness of Mount Athos feeling carefree, and you are not going out in the world to help people who have so many serious problems?
The Elder, slightly raising his tone of voice, told him:
– Your mind machine is a broken one and produces only negative thoughts. You misunderstand everything you see or hear. Now, you see me living here and ask me why I am not going out in the world. If I go to live in the world, you will then say that it is unsuitable for a monk and that I should go back to the quietude of my cell. For this reason, I will only tell you one thing: Repair your broken mind-machine and bear in mind the old saying, which says that “traffic lights are made for noisy streets, whereas lighthouses for deserted rocky mountains.”
“The spirituality of a person is defined by the quality of his thoughts. One day, three men were sitting in a park chatting. Suddenly, a young man hastily ran by them. When they saw him, they all thought of something.
The first one thought: ‘He must have stolen something, so he is running to escape’. The other one thought: ‘He must be late for his date with some girl that is why he is running.’ And the third one said to himself: ‘Most probably he is a chanter in a church and runs to be on time for the service.”
Three men had three different thoughts for the same person. However, only the last one, who had a positive thought, was benefited, whereas the other two were spiritually harmed.”
“God opposes the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.” (1Pet 5:5).