A Lesson from Xantippe

The temptation to put the blame for humanity's problems on extraneous conditions, environmental influences, and other people's behavior is one of the tricks of the devil to perpetuate much of the unhappiness, deprivation, and strained relationships we feel. The argument is as old as humanity itself that the cause of our difficulties is outside of ourselves. In the allegory of mankind's original downfall, rather than accept the responsibility himself, didn't Adam say, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat"? Gen. 3:12;

The suggestion that other people and circumstances have to be changed and controlled before we can be free of discord keeps us looking in the wrong direction for a cure.

The author of Science and Health gives a good illustration of this when she refers to Socrates and his proverbially shrewish wife, Xantippe. It is said that instead of leaving her or trying to reform her, the Greek philosopher became an example for other troubled people throughout the centuries by preferring to use the opportunity of living with her to improve himself. Mrs. Eddy writes, "Socrates considered patience salutary under such circumstances, making his Xantippe a discipline for his philosophy." Science and Health, p. 66;

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March 1, 1975

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