I one day asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá how it could ever be possible for me, deep in the mass of weak and selfish humanity, ever to hope to attain when the goal was so high and great. He said that it is to be accomplished little by little; little by little. And I thought to myself, I have all eternity for this journey from self to God. The thing to do is to get started.
(Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 63)
Later in the month, Mrs. Tatum was talking with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and said, “I feel so dejected today. I am unhappy with myself.” The Master replied: this is a sign of progress. The person who is satisfied with himself is the manifestation of Satan and the one who is not satisfied is the manifestation of the merciful one. An egotist does not progress but the one who thinks himself imperfect will seek perfection for himself and will progress … The attainment of absolute perfection for a human being is impossible; thus, however much he may progress he is still imperfect and has above him a point higher than himself.
(Earl Redman, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Their Midst, p. 160)