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If I love your potential, it is because I love our potential. As we are different, I expect that potential to manifest in different ways. Since only you know yourself, I expect only you to know how that potential may be made manifest. What I am loving about you is that this potential exists, and that if you choose to pursue it, I will witness a Quality-with-the-flavor-of-Doris in the world that was lacking before. As I have already witnessed, and hence our continuing relationship.

But I love this beauty because it is Quality, not because it is Doris. If I gave you a broken lamp during an endless night, you would throw it away. But if I told you to honor and love that lamp, and help it to find a socket, you would later understand what a gorgeous thing it is.

We all have the same raison d’etre: To know and worship God. But since this must come from the individual (again, the importance of the individual), it is always between you and God. One cannot diminish the importance of the individual, since no action is possible that does not begin with the individual’s choice to act. Acting in harmony is another choice, but no matter how wonderful the group, it will never be able to replace the individual’s contribution to it.

Sometimes when people say “it is between you and God” it is because they do not have an answer to your question. The Bahá’í Faith seems contradictory even to Bahá’ís. This is because it addresses the question of life at a deeper level than we are used to seeing it. The discovery of the reason behind such contradictions is what occurs with time and thought.

Ask a Bahá’í sometime if it is true that we should be anxiously concerned with the needs and exigencies of the present day. Then ask them to explain why Bahá’u’lláh says: “Waste not thy precious life in employment with this swiftly passing world.” (from the Seven Valleys). Get them to explain that! You should find that we don’t have better answers. It is Bahá’u’lláh’s excellence that grounds our Faith, not the excellence of our own understanding.