Flies and Bees – Advice from St. Paisios
St. Paisios provides us with wise advice about negative thinking using an example of flies and bees. As usual he is most insightful.
“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 of 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. It will start messing around with it and feel comfortable with the bad smell. If the fly could talk, and you asked it it 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: “I don’t know. I can only tell you where to find flowers, sweets, honey and sugar; 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 way of 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.”
From Elder Paisios on the Holy Mountain by PriestMonk Christodoulos, p.43-44
Director of Y2AM, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
A graduate of Yale University, FordhamUniversity School of Law, and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Steve is passionate about sharing the Gospel in a clear and accessible way and helping people see Christ at work in their lives.
Young Adult Ministries Coordinator of Y2AM
A graduate of Wheaton College, Azusa Pacific University, & Luther Seminary, Christian is a Licensed Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Arizona committed to the upbuilding of the Church as a family that facilitates the formation of youth & young adults into the image of Christ.
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At the Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (Y²AM), our goal is easy to state: to make God’s love visible to the world. This is the essence of ministry, to make Christ manifest in our lives and to share Him with a world that, at times, has trouble finding Him. In other words, our goal is to introduce people, particularly youth and young adults, to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and invite them to truly Live Orthodoxy.
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In 2014, we began offering retreats as a way to better connect with the youth in our care and do even more to share God’s love. Over the years, we’ve continued to refine and improve the experience for all participants. We’ve committed ourselves to make BeeTreats bigger and better than ever before: offering programs for youth, young adults, parents, and youth workers of all jurisdictions.
At Y²AM, we believe the Gospel is just as powerful and relevant today as it was when the Apostles first began to preach the Good News that Christ gave them. This message of truth, healing, life, and salvation quickly spread from a tiny handful of disciples to every corner of the world. It is the same Gospel we preach today. We hope that you will join us for a weekend of worship, service, fellowship, and inspiration; for a weekend we can all gather, as one, in His service.
With Love in Christ,
Director of Y2AM
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
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