Until a being setteth his foot in the plane of sacrifice, he is bereft of every favour and grace; and this plane of sacrifice is the realm of dying to the self, that the radiance of the living God may then shine forth.
Let’s take a moment for a philosophical exercise. I took an interesting training course for work today, entitled “Managing Multiple Priorities”, designed to help me—guess what! Manage multiple priorities. Among the many propositions made during the class was that there is, in effect, no such thing as “time management“. Well, how can that be? Don’t we all have to manage our time to fit in our various responsibilities, such as service, family, work, school, and so on? Not so, young grasshopper. How can you “manage” something as abstract as time? Time is something that happens whether you want it to happen or not; we have 86,400 seconds in every day to do with as we wish. When we speak of “time management”, we’re really talking about managing our own self and our own actions, that those 86,400 seconds may be put to their best use. So rather than “managing time”, we’re managing our own selves and striving to choose the actions and reactions that are right for each second of every day. Sound legit?
‘Abdu’l-Baha was the Master of such “self-management”; wholly detached from all trace of self, his only thought was to serve humankind, putting into the practice the Teachings of Baha’u’llah in all their manifold glory; he did so ceaselessly, thoroughly and systematically. A glance into ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s life reveals that the Perfect Exemplar of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings kept to a rigorous schedule, tending to the poor, the sick and the infirm with clockwork regularity, entertaining rooms full of guests every evening and addressing correspondence to the Bahá’ís throughout the world well into every night, organizing children’s classes to ensure the education of the children in his midst, all the while subsisting on a few hours of sleep and a modest meal each day.
Food for thought. I’ll undoubtedly return to this topic soon, as I strive to bring “self-management” strategies to bear on my own life.
Update: Wikipedia has this to say about self-management:
In business, education, and psychology, self-management refers to methods, skills, and strategies by which individuals can effectively direct their own activities toward the achievement of objectives, and includes goal setting, planning, scheduling, task tracking, self-evaluation, self-intervention, self-development, etc.
So it’s actually a recognized term. Huh. Who knew?