"My Answers" -- Joseph Sadony
A COLLATION OF QUOTATIONS FROM THE CONVERSATIONS, CORRESPONDENCE AND EDITORIAL PAGE COLUMN OF AN AMERICAN THINKER --- CONTAINING HIS REPLIES TO QUESTIONS, DOUBTS AND TROUBLESOME STATES OF MIND FOUND PREVALENT IN A LIFELONG STUDY OF "MODERN MAN" AND HIS EVERYDAY PROBLEMS.
Be it known that the title "American Thinker" is not one self-imposed upon himself by Joseph Sadony, but by those who are responsible for the physical production of this volume, and who know him to be one in the full sense of both terms. --- The Publishers
By Joseph Sadony
The material embodied in this book, born originally of personal conversation and correspondence, has most of it appeared in Mr. Sadony’s daily newspaper column, "Give it a Thought". From there it has been compiled and edited, as well as printed, published and herewith presented by "The Valley Press", Montague, Michigan, U.S.A.
Don’t read this book unless you intend to think with me.
Read it as if you were writing it.
TO THOSE WHO ASK
Achievements, Ailments, Air Castles, "All in", America, Angry and Bitter, Argument, Asceticism,
"Ask and ye shall receive" …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
Battles, Beauty, Beginning all over again, Bereavement, Bitter medicine, Blue without cause,
Boredom, Borrowing, Burdens, Business …………………………………………………………………………………….. 32
Cause for Complaint, Chafing at the Bit, Charity, Children, College Education, Complaining, Complications, Condemnation, Conquering the World, Conscience, Contentment, Credit,
Creditors, Unjust Criticism …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40
Debts, Defiance, Depression, Despair, Desperation, Despondency, Disappointment, Disbelief
in God, In the Discard, Discipline, Discontentment, Discord, Discouraged, Disinterest,
Dissatisfaction, Divorce, Doubt, Down and Out, Down in the Dumps, Drinking, Drudgery ………….. 51
Eating, Education, College Education, Enthusiasm, Environments, Exposure ……………………………… 66
Failures, Faith, False Accusations, False Obligations, Fame, Bitter against ‘Fate’, Fatherhood,
Faults, Fear of Death, Flattery, Fools, Forced Idleness, Forgetting, Freedom, Friends, Future…….. 71
Glory, God, Grief, Grouch…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 87
Handicaps, Happiness, Hardboiled, Hardships, Hard Work, Healing, Heartbroken, Heaven,
Helplessness, Homeliness, Honesty, Hopelessness, Hurt Pride…………………………………………………….. 91
Ideals, Ideas, Idleness, Ignorance, Immortality, Incurable Disease, Indigestion, Inferiority,
Infirmities, Insult, Irritability…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 98
Job (out of a), Joke………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 105
Kicking, Kindness…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 108
Laboring Man, Labored for Nothing, Leadership, Loneliness, Loss, Choice of Love, Love……….. 109
Menial Labor, Mental Chaos, Mental Distress, Misfortune, Missed, Missions to Perform,
Mistakes, Money, Monotony, Motherhood…………………………………………………………………………… 115
Nerve, Nervousness, Newly-weds, Nothing worth living for………………………………………………….. 124
Obligations, Opportunities…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 129
Poor Man, Poverty, Pride, Profanity, Public Opinion…………………………………………………………….… 131
Religion, Resigned to the End, Restlessness, Revenge, Rock Bottom, Ruts………………………….… 135
Saints and Sinners, Servants, Sorrow, No Sorrow, Soul, Sour-puss, Square Deal, Success,
Tempo, Tired of Life, Tired out, Troubles…………………………………………………………………………….. 148
Vice and Virtue…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 151
Wants, Wealth, Young Wife and Mother, Will Power…………………………………………………………... 153
Youth and Old Age………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 155
When it comes to selecting the manuscript for this volume, we ("The Valley Press") spoke to Mr. Sadony reminding him that we have promised his readers an introductory presentation of him and of his philosophy, the story of the Valley of the Pines and the life he has lived there.
Mr. Sadony replied, "All that can wait. I have not avoided publicity all these years only to invite it now, before my work is done, and to interfere with completing it."
One after the other we brought up the matter of manuscripts that seemed of greater significance as contributions to the fields of science, psychology, education, philosophy, literature, and even radioscript. More than fifty volumes comprising the labors of a lifetime were smiled away with such words as, "How many do you think would read that now?" -- "What immediate need does it fill?" – "You could wait ten years for this one." – "Twenty-five for that." -- "And these can wait till I am gone."
"What are we to do?" we asked, "We announced the book, and people are waiting for it."
For answer, he ran his hand through a bushel of mail he was sorting out.
"So are people waiting for answers to these letters," he said, "I am doing all I can, directly and through newspaper columns. Is that an indication of what is needed? What are scientists doing to meet it? True, they have set out to correlate and humanize the world’s knowledge, to bring the fruits of scientific research within the understanding of the people. But man must learn to walk before he can run. All the scientific knowledge of man’s material progress is of no help to men and women in sorrow and despair, to men out of jobs, or face to face with failure, women in desperation and those in their declining years who dread getting old and fear the end called ‘death’. As long as people continue thinking these thoughts, these things (and thoughts are things), are at work as agents and reagents in the great subconsciousness of humanity. None of us can escape their efforts."
The greatest need of mankind today, according to Mr. Sadony, is not more "knowledge" (which he describes as "What to think"), but greater wisdom ("How to think") in applying that knowledge. To this end he has devoted his life, and to this end (the "humanizing of wisdom" rather than mere knowledge), all his other philosophic and scientific labors are subservient. It has been a hobby and labor of love on his part for a lifetime, to help people think themselves to success and out of the troublesome conditions and problems of everyday life; giving bread for today instead of promises of cake for tomorrow. "Without money and without price" he has given of his time, energy and means, answering many thousands of letters from thirty nations, and writing newspaper columns in which he provides daily not only life’s essentials of "food for thought", but mental antidotes and preventives for states of mind that are without doubt responsible for most of our personal, national and international ills. The philosophical justification for this we have asked Mr. Sadony to express in the following introduction.
It is not pretended that all these elements are embodied in the present limited volume. But here you will find some of the most general, most simple, and most often expressed mental attitudes as Mr. Sadony has found them, and answered them, in his study of men and their everyday problems. From these we have extracted briefly, arranging the result alphabetically for the convenience of the reader in future reference. --The Valley Press
I have been made to feel that I should justify withholding (from the pages of this little book) manuscripts of seemingly greater significance, offering instead my answers to the daily doubts and apprehensions of people who stop me on the street, or write me when they are blue and discouraged. Does this need justification? It is true that I have stored up the fruits of many years of philosophic thought and scientific research, arriving at conclusions and making discoveries by which I might lay claim to greater fame than by the contents of this volume. But I am not seeking for fame; and I do not believe those things of "greater importance".
What right has man to study atoms, stars and abstract possibilities when the poor man’s problems are not solved, and we still have wars and useless struggles? It is still the standard of wisdom to let everything be done decently, and in good order. How would a man do with his family, or in building a home? Is not humanity a family? What is the matter with us that we do not do this? Whom can we blame?
Has man the right to speculate upon those mysteries which can never be utilized, nor proven as facts; and which waste money, time, and talent far better spent seeking how to better humanity? Why teach those things when we have not as yet the necessary materials of daily life as a foundation upon which to build the structure? Is it not right that man should first study that within the limits of his understanding; from one to ten, from A to Z, from morning to night, those things his eyes behold?
There is surely plenty of room to progress in simplicity before tackling the fractions and infinities of things.
Far better that we raise wheat, bake bread, clothe ourselves, and then when self-sustaining, leave our workshop for the day, and enter into the music room of Art, the lighted room of Knowledge where wisdom will teach us how to work, play and sleep. Man has no right to be extravagant in anything if he expects to be and remain normal. -- unless he wants to live alone, and neglected.
We cannot afford to spend much time considering the opinions or methods of yesterday, nor stop to harvest their fruits today, when we must plant for a new generation, knowing that sooner or later all those who do not understand will gradually do so, for time proveth all things. Some educated men make use of their time explaining how to play marbles, instead of playing with them; going into technical phrases and fractions explaining and mapping life: but before they have drawn a conclusion, it is Death that questions. Why waste time, paper and ink analyzing flavors, the taste of fruit. Let us eat what Nature has given for thousands of years, and turn it into good health, joy, long life, and normal appreciative thoughts, so that the real knowledge of life may be born normally for today and tomorrow, and not for thousands of years hence.
The world is waiting for facts that can be eaten today, and used for tomorrow.
We have a duty we owe to humanity—to those who have knocked upon doors of empty churches, temples and schools, (but not prisons!) We must help men and women who can do work; not as missionaries, nor under the flags of politics, cults or isms, but just pure, clean-hearted leaders who are handicapped, discouraged, held back -- being used as stepping stones to respectability by the profane.
We need not blame God for placing us to suffer. Our own weight of character places us in our chosen rank. God gave us a gold nugget weighted to reach a secure foundation, but what have we added to it to prevent its settling into security? What, but that very thing that tempted us onward to that destruction for which we blamed God. We often condemn Him because of Nature’s pitiless, cruel, death-dealing power. But we forget that God created a law to be obeyed. Therefore He has nothing more to do with that "cruel" Nature that destroys life, for at the same time He has already given us a part of Himself, so that if we will, we shall know that law, making this terrible, cruel power our servant and protector instead of our master and executioner. Then why do we cry in doubt and despair, condemning God for giving us His power of destruction and creation, when it is ourselves, by our ignorance, allowing the pitiless Nature and its laws to bring us to our senses! Who therefore is the fool who wears a spiritual crown of intelligence and grumbles because of its weight?
If thoughts may be changed, environments may be changed. If environments may be changed, destiny may be changed, for there is a constant adaptation to environments. So "Destiny" may be altered by one who knows the laws by which to do so intelligently.
As long as the trigger of the gun of necessity has not been pulled, and the bullet on its way of death, we have until this time to prevent, or divert its aim.
These laws have been the subject of lifelong study and research on my part, not merely philosophically and metaphorically, but scientifically. It is the fruits of this research that I have been expected to put forth, and that shall be put forth in due time, in all its aspects, scientific, psychological, religious and educational.
What may be overlooked, however, unless it be pointed out, is that the present volume is a logical beginning of application in planting its seed. Under the law of functional limitation, (we can think only with what we possess to think with), our "state of mind" under any condition is composed of what we allow to be cast upon the screen of our mind from our memory. If our memory is colored by the causes of discouragement, depression, hopelessness and despair, what then? To attempt to dispel these troublesome clouds of apprehensive doubts or sorrows by our past inheritance of history and personal experience, is like trying to lift oneself over a prison wall by one’s own bootstraps.
The existence of "Destiny" in the sense of "fatalism", of "Predestination" to the exclusion of "free will", is due to the vicious circles resulting from having allowed the future to be cast in a mold of the past. Most of us do what we do today because of the momentum of yesterday, rather than in preparation for tomorrow by response of inspiration to ideals: true ideals being future realities, intuitively sensed and subconsciously interpreted.
The moment you lose hope and faith your destiny is established, regardless of your will, like a bullet shot from a rifle, which cannot be turned from its course. As long as your optimistic hand holds Opportunity you govern "Fate": but if you drop it through pessimism you are in the hand of Fate’s "destiny", not your own will. "Predestination" is nature’s material harness, or the natural, chemical or spiritual laws. "Free will" is the power. What man believes to be his "will" is but a dam for the capture and use of this power. All is right until he uses his will-power the wrong way. His freedom in its use is a matter of polarity, operating indirectly. He may be positive or negative. He may attract or repel. He may accept or reject.
This is the power of the individual, at the fulcrum of his mind, of governing the polarity of his desires by commanding the animal propensities or the spiritual sentiments. Thus he determines which shall predominate, according to whether he allows himself to respond to instinct, or to be influenced by intuition or inspiration. Hence, "Ask and ye shall receive. The prayer or supplication is simply a matter of inducing the polarity necessary to be the recipient of inspiration. And what is "inspiration"? It is the current of the only truly "Free Will" there is, of which man is the creature. Man’s will is free to the extend that he is a channel for the will of his Creator. Towards this end is the only path of success that proves its permanence in mastership.
What then do men and women need? Certainly not that we should think for them, but rather that we should provoke them to think for themselves. Provide them with what they lack, to think more clearly, (it is usually a very simple, very obvious thing), and they will do the rest, providing you are not there to argue with their miseries and self-pity, thus strengthening the very thing that uses this means to defy annihilation. Thereby you help them change their false "destinies" by returning to the path of their own. Such is the purpose of my newspaper column and of this little volume.
As for our present outlook, here is one who asks me "Mr. Sadony, what are we coming to? Is there ever to be an end of these troublesome times? Have you any real grounds for hopefulness, or are you too beginning to lose confidence".
Yes, dear friend I have the best grounds in the world for hopefulness. It is true, the pendulum has swung way out over the troubled seas and everyone is apprehensive as to the possibilities for dire results. While it swings over the heads of the guilty, unscrupulous politicians grin in glee. But God is not cruel. The end of that pendulum is in His hands still, and it is on its way back. Even the guilty conscience of those who are making use of greed is saying the same thing. Now the pendulum is swinging way back over the land of prosperity where intelligence, culture and justice will once more take the baton to govern the rhythm of the national air. Great men have not all died. They have but been made prisoners. We are the recipients of chaos, for we have sought but we deny the reception of what we have found. We have knocked at the door that has no hinges. We have asked the man who has no voice. The world is on the verge of realizing these things and again will profit by it, so that your declining years will be happier ones. When I lose confidence, dear friend, then you may "throw up the sponge"! I have waited forty-five years for the very thing that is slowly coming now. –Joseph Sadony
Why not close our eyes in sleep while the tempest of night sorrow plays and dies—with the faith that the morning brings the sun through whose rays all things smile and live, and who beckons the lost onward toward the landmark of their destination. . .
In those hours or days when you are blue or logy, don’t know what to do, and don’t feel like doing anything, the roots are working.
Let them work. It is a sign of coming blossoms. And without it, no fruit…
ACHIEVEMENT---"I have never done anything worthwhile…"
But don’t you know that you still have the entire future to try it? Why even the saving of a life is worth glory. Or to die for some great cause gives you stimulus to try, so you will find glory long before you do pass on. It is your belief that lays the trail you have made. Whether you are right or wrong, it means your signature.
The greatest man never intended to be great – never thought of it – never imitated – just was, that’s all; and became a plant: flesh and blood true to Nature and his belief, climbing that great mountain by the additional energy that others wasted in imitation, copying those who copied themselves.
If you wish to achieve, then you must fight for it, a struggle every inch of the way. Ideals are a lock; the struggle the key. If you do not achieve, then you have false desires, or covet your neighbor’s fruits. But bear in mind that when the glitter of your achievements has worn off, then only do they become achievements.
AILMENTS—"It’s hard for me to get my mind off my ailment. I find myself thinking of it and talking about it all the time…"
Don’t you realize that to speak of an ailment strengthens its existence not only in yourself, but through the thoughts of others which tend to hold you to it. Think long enough of an ailment, (which incidentally must be a part of itself to cause you to think it), and it can make you predisposed to it by the path of least resistance. Let another kind of thought in your make-up take the wheel, and your destiny will be changed.
AIR CASTLES—"None of my air castles have ever materialized…"
Do you know why? Air castles must be built as the heart dictates at the noon-time of ambition, rather than in imitation of the distorted shadows of yesterday’s setting sun. Flowers change their appearance from daylight to dawn: so likewise do the emotions of the heart. True air castles are constructed unconsciously, but they are the shadows of future substance by which we may measure our ambition.
Do you think that air castles were created in vain that we might be tantalized. If we think of these things we will bless the weak rounds of the ladder of life: for when they bend under us, we become cautious, and realize the importance of all the loved ones, as well as the one lost lamb, thus equalizing our judgment.
"ALL IN"—"I’m all in…"
Then don’t forget that you have three tanks of reserve energy. If you don’t believe it, let someone frighten you when "all in" as you call it; or make you angry. Where was all this reserve in the first place? Your inclination is one faucet; your ambition, physically, another; and the spiritual, where martyrs are born, is the (neglected) third.
AMERICA—"I am beginning to doubt my blessings as an American citizen…"
Then you ought to be made to spend a year abroad. You would get wise to the fact that you live in paradise and don’t know it. One may obtain mental clothing in blood-stained Europe, but the clean, virgin soil of the West is the best place on earth today either to interpret past history or solve future mysteries.
America has the opportunities for men to live in contentment and think out all these problems for the betterment of the human race. Whose fault is it that such advantage has not been taken in place of enduring pain, to say nothing of stifling genius by which we might excel as kings of the earth?
Suppose you might have been sent into this world for some great purpose. Do you think you might have forgotten that purpose, and because of this fact you are disconnected? Search the pockets of your memory and see if you can possibly remember just why you were born, if you believe there is a reason for everything. Nothing is ever born uselessly, or it would not have had force enough in itself to exist, if a thing cannot be born from nothing.
ANGRY AND BITTER—"I am angry and bitter…"
Then place the face of Christ next to your mirror. Compare your face to His, and see your excuse. If His face be but a myth to you, what proof have you that yours is not but a poor shadow of what you ought to be, to retain the self-respect you claim as a man among men?
ARGUMENT—"Why should I give in to him? He’s just stubborn. He may be right, but so am I, and he won’t admit it…"
But meanwhile the wheels stop moving. Don’t argue in crossing the desert, and make a fuss of seeing what makes the wheels go round. You can go in a covered wagon. Just get over the desert; then argue.
ASCETICISM—"Must I torture myself, as some would have me do, to gain spiritual progress?"
No. Do not appear haggard, long-haired, dark under the eyes, as if it were such a struggle and sacrifice to attain spirituality! Do not advertise your rags! No—rather be plump and prosperous looking. Let the messenger knock at your door and deliver the package. Do not chase him all over because he came when you were gone. Wait till he comes again. It’s a disgrace if you are so animal that you must be torn asunder to get at the little spirituality beneath.
The balance of life at its fulcrum demands that the head reach no further into the clouds than its feet are sunk into the earth. To reach higher, it must also grow deeper, and more secure. The ascetic is impatient. He runs ahead of nature’s laws, seeking a shortcut to God. He tries to move the spirit instead of tending to his business until the spirit moves him to do differently. He seeks and finds. He knocks but storms the door, without waiting for the words "Come in".
"ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE"—"We have been told to ask, and that we shall receive,… but I have asked and I have not received…"
When asking for goods of this world, go to the schools and teachers of experience, and you will receive by attraction your desires. But if seeking spiritual comfort, look within your soul, which is a focused image of the Sun of Life that we call GOD. Ask in His name, and you shall be comforted by the "Holy Ghost", by the concentration of mind which will produce a thought in vapor, to be cooled by inspiration to drop into forms of registered vibrations of wisdom and understanding, to be tempered by the water of faith or baptism, to be polished by your attraction, affection, your interest and desires; cherished until one day when you are a pure thought of God.
"Ask and ye shall receive" is the Christian statement of a universal, spiritual law, a power hidden from those that would misuse it. By simplicity is the greatest power of Divinity disguised from those who covet undeserved virtues. Asking awakens expectancy. Expectancy awakens hope. Hope awakens faith. Faith awakens intuition. Intuition leads one to that for which he has asked.
BATTLES—"All my life has been a battle against odds…"
And you have not yet won it, or the thought wouldn’t be uppermost. Half the world’s battles are lost by the efforts to win them. Try relaxing till you get a hunch that will help you win with half the effort.
BEAUTY—"I fear I am losing my beauty. I have striven in vain to keep it from fading…"
There is only one thing to do. Stop worrying and struggling over it. Don’t spend so much time studying yourself in the glass. You’re starving the very roots of beauty. Put all that energy and effort into the cultivation of personality and beauty of character which will outlast and outshine the features of the world’s most beautiful women who today are forgotten, if that is all they possessed.
Few women who are famous for their beauty are truly happy, because they have forgotten why they are beautiful and fail to make use of their beauty for the purposes of its existence, as a medium to create ideals. It is to be displayed to encourage Strength to protect Simplicity under the law of the triunity of life and its perpetuation.
BEGINNING ALL OVER AGAIN—"I have had a great loss and must start all over again..."
So what? Surely you know that it can’t be the same labor, once completed; and if not, where is the loss sustained when you did not possess in your incomplete purpose? You can lose only what is not entirely your own, and he who takes from you holds it but a short time, to be returned if it is really yours.
You may think that you are doing your work all over again, but you are not. You might say you counted to ten and now must begin all over, 11, 12, 13, and so on, repeating every ten times. But are you repeating in counting to 100? So it is with your "loses" —so why dwell only on the digits, and forget the tens which signify how many tens you have which are not losses.
BEREAVEMENT—"My loved one has passed on…"
Where to? Has he or she gone where you will not go? How far away are they, just because you can’t see them? There are a lot of things you can’t see, but still they are present. You extinguish the lamp. The light is still there, if you know how to turn it on. Break the globe, and it’s still there if you can give the power another instrument to work through.
Your radio burns out. The music and song still fills the air. Your loved ones are nearer to you than you to them. Is it God’s fault because you have not learned to see, to feel and know? May He not have sent a "railroad ticket" to your loved one, thus to repay you for your love, and prepare a new place for you; or to give your faith a chance to prove itself, when we know so little of the truths all around us.
Where is the "Comforter" Christ left for us, if not the unignited tongue of fire (spirit) within us? If these are not facts, how could we live? Just separate one little wire in your car and its 100 H.P. will not move that car one inch. And it was man’s mental faculties that made the car in its perfection; still he denies his own faculties of life and death.
Just learn how to pray right, and see, when the answer from out the Abstract returns how happy you will be through faith that you never knew existed, as did great strong men of the past on their knees, on a bloody battle field, who did return to loved ones who also prayed for safe return.
Go look up facts and see for yourself if these facts are not withheld because of the sacredness, as why Christ sacrificed His life when He could have been what every man would like to be.
If your loved one does not exist anymore, how can you prove that you do; and that it is not all a dream? You may be more alive in a dream than in your wakeful hours that are so much of objective vision, not what they really are. You know that you are not deprived of your love. It will keep on growing upon other, fertile ground. It might be a canary, a horse, dog or in memories. But it does find something to carry it on, to help the strongest attraction to attain under the law of gravity, objectively, [downward], or subjective "evaporation" [upward]—but united where like begets like, that gives birth to light and love. Your loved ones live. Let them prove it in their own way by the help of your love, even if it be in a dream.
BITTER MEDICINE—"It’s a bitter cup life offers me to drink this time…"
Good! Now drink, and drain the cup to the dregs. Not only will it make you immune, but a master as well.
BLUE WITHOUT CAUSE—"I am blue but don’t know why…"
Then you have absorbed the thoughts of others; or you are allowing your thoughts to run away with you. Your whims have control of the wheel. Your will forces the car on. Only why not will your thoughts in the direction you know is the right road, by past experience? Then let me see you find an alibi. Why not be curious enough to test out why you are blue: whether it is lack of hope, your negative mental state, or if you are only hungry and don’t know it?
At any rate here is a prescription for you, if you are blue and idle: buy a one way ticket to the next town, so you will have to walk back. If you are curable, this is guaranteed to cure. If you can’t do this, an alterative will prove to you that it would have worked. An unexpected visitor, a call for help, the house on fire, will change your condition at once.
Meanwhile don’t try to think out your problems. You will be about as successful as the artist who tried to paint the snow on a picture with a brush that had not been cleansed from the black paint before he dipped it in the white. No matter how good an artist you are, your picture and the snow will be a failure. Never let the mind reason when clouds obscure the sun.
There are two ways of overcoming blueness without removing its cause (which is the third and better way). One is by force of will, to use memories. Another, by negative faith in one’s religion and auto-suggestion. This method can also be used to invite them.
BOREDOM—"I was bored to death…"
Perhaps what bored you was also bored to death for a want in you, too, of interest. It takes a bullet to hit the bull’s eye to ring a bell. Without a bell or bullet you will hear no sound to prevent boredom. Often the very thing you loved most bores you because of your saturation point.
BORROWING—"I can’t make up my mind whether to try to borrow any money or not. I’ve never done it before…"
Don’t borrow to buy what you don’t want, or it may cost you again as much, beside your debt, to dispose of it, dubbing you a thoughtless beggar.
If you borrow, you have created a law of obligation under the personal responsibility of friendship; and if forced to redeem the pledge made, you have broken two laws, and are held responsible under the law of compensation.
Whatever you give, you hold; what you receive, you lose; what you borrow, you mortgage.
BURDENS—"What is one to do when obligations cannot be avoided and burdens become too heavy…"
Well, our burdens may not be removed, or obligations lessoned, but our burdens can be made to feel lighter by our becoming stronger, our obligations lessoned by perseverance to form a habit of paying off daily the debt assumed.
BUSINESS—"My business isn’t so good just now…"
Well, fish don’t bite every day. When they don’t, use that day to get salt to preserve what fish you may catch beyond your necessities.
CAUSE FOR COMPLAINT—"It isn’t fair. I have good cause to complain. I’m not responsible for these conditions…"
Have you ever counted the hours or days with opportunities to which you made yourself blind—days without pain or sorrow, that slipped by because of your too great contentment to make an effort to lay aside for such a rainy day as today, and your complaint? Your neighbor took advantage and borrowed your opportunity, doing double work, so now you must buy from him at double price. So why kick?
Why don’t you stop and think. You drink the same pure water, breath the same air as kings and potentates. They may have spices and condiments, silks and satins that you lack, but does it warm them any more? I think it jades their appetite; and you with your freedom envy them! Ask a tramp why he is one, and a king why he is a king. A tramp may say "I am but a sheep of peace"; a king, "I am a shepherd of war".
CHAFING AT THE BIT—"My spirit chafes at the bit…"
Then your load is too light. Carry more weight, or relieve the burden of another. Is it because you are idle? If so, look over the list of your personal responsibilities, or you will be paying rent to a new landlord for renting your own home. If you doubt it, take a census of the unfortunate rich, ten years ago and today, and you may find you still have a chance to make and keep good.
NO CHANCE—"I’ve never had a chance to make good, and there’s no chance now…"
So you lie in that bed of despair; is that it? But if you made an effort to get out, even as a tramp you soon would find a new harness with your initials on it, to pull a wagon-load of happiness and success. The job never comes to you; you must go to it, or you drift into the sea of human shipwrecks, as the Law intended it to be, for the lazy minds in lazy bodies, without sail or rudder.
But you have no right to have passengers on board, (a family), to go with you. That is your sin of neglect for which you pay, as you complain. Have they not the right to complain over your poor efforts and the failure in your personally assumed obligation: goods received but not paid for? Give it a thought.
CHARITY—"I feel it my duty to be charitable when I can…"
Then you must also think it your responsibility to see that you do not make beggars of those to whom you give what they have not earned. For virtues may be despoiled by undeserving gifts where vanity lies asleep.
Beware of those who demand in the name of Charity. Remember it has become a profession among high-class beggars to glory in their deceit while the real worthy man in need is deprived of his own. Charity is wasted upon those who do not appreciate it, for the lesson taught, and the example shown, have been in vain.
CHILDREN—"My children are all girls and I did pray for a son…"
Well, just bring them up right, so they will choose well what was not born to you. Then you will have your son (in-law) to supply your longing heart with love already grown up. This is what a friend of mine did who had all sons and had wanted a daughter. She now has three daughters who love her for what a fine job she made of their husbands, and several grand-daughters who will be the joy of her life as long as she lives.
"I cannot understand my own children. They no longer confide in me, and sometimes they seem like strangers instead of my own flesh and blood…"
Have you grown mentally since your children were born, or do you still cling to the old-fashioned way, expecting your children to respect your knowledge without a mental criticism, being convinced that you are not up-to-date while the children will feel embarrassed by making comparison with others?
Can you blame them when you yourself did the same thing when young? Why not pick up the same tools and toys they do, so the game can be played together. Last years blossoms are not this years blossoms; neither the fruit but the seed. So let’s get wise to the facts our children have discovered, without their getting wise to the fact that we are doing so. No need to show our ignorance. They will give us due credit for experience recorded, and we will have pals even if childhood days are gone.
CHILD-TRAINING—"I am doing my best to train my children properly, but find it a real problem…"
Don’t train your children. Educate them so their own will-power will train them. If you train your children, they will but obey your will. If you are not there, they are helpless, for you told them what to do. But give them an education of self-reliance, and they will know what to do, because you taught them how they should do it. The trained child obeys what is before him to do. The educated child adapts himself to what will be born tomorrow, building his foundation today for what he expects, but leaving the concrete green enough to conform to the unexpected.
COMPLAINING—"There is one member of my family whose greatest pleasure seems to be in complaining…"
Then agree with him or her. They soon will wake up and see their folly, realize your charity, feel ashamed of their short-comings, see the foolishness of self-pity, and find enjoyment in new pursuits, instead of complaining because no one agrees with their real or imaginary grievances that every man assumes, but which retards his progress.
COMPLAINTS—"I have nothing to complain of…"
Then think of when you did, and you will not have to learn two lessons.
COMPLICATIONS—"I have a complication to adjust…"
Then see that you are mentally and physically in tune with it before you attempt blindly to solve it; or you may find one card lost. Without that missing card, or the missing necessity, you may never be able to accomplish the adjustment attempted. There is a vast difference in thinking, whether it is born from observation direct, or from memory. The two may not mix: creating a composite of oil and water-colors.
CONDEMNATION—"It hurts when others condemn me unjustly…"
It is far less painful to overlook injustice. Let it starve for want of your consideration. Judge only by your efforts and aim. If you feel you have done your best, you will add your last efforts of vengeance to your efforts to improve. Then your enemies will be silenced by your friends. If you stop to defend your self uselessly, how can your friends prove their loyalty to you.
CONQUERING THE WORLD—"We’ll never get anywhere like this. We’ve got to be up and going places…"
If we go slowly, we will get somewhere, and something. Buy to rush and try and conquer the world is like having a dog and a cat and a mouse, a tiger and an elephant, trying to grow them all at once. What happens as soon as they get large enough? The cat eats the mouse, the dog eats the cat, the tiger kills the dog, and all you have left in the end is a wounded elephant, which is therefore a white one.
CONSCIENCE—"My conscience is one thing that’s never bothered me very much…"
Well, then you are either a saint or a sinner, and don’ live at the fulcrum of life where most normal men dwell. What you may have is a poor memory rather than a poor conscience. No man has every lived, who in his conscience or estimation has not sinned, or broken some adopted law worthy of some penalty—though forgotten until reminded in solitude.
What man is there alive who dare face justice for what he has done, that he thinks no one knows? It might surprise you how loudly the human conscience speaks, that may be heard just as well as the tuning in of your radio—all because many man-made laws are selfish hypocrites and unjust against God and Nature. Hence laws are broken by those who feel themselves beyond the hand of that law. Make an outcry and check up on those who will dispute that fact: you may find the guilty with a cloak of respectability.
There is no witness more honest than the conscience, the servant of God’s justice. And when this servant leaves, the soul has been smothered, and has no need of Justice: for but a stone remains which has neither pleasure, anticipation, nor Life.
Perhaps you mean that you have a clear conscience? Then indeed you can be truly fearless, as no one else can. But it ought to bother you about something as evident as that it is still on the job, as a sense of justice. If so, then you still have an ideal, and are still in touch with success destined to belong to you only, or its echo would not sound upon your mental harp in melodies of truth, hope, and faith.
CONTENTMENT—"All I ask is ordinary contentment…"
Then finish up your necessities before you expect the luxuries, which is but being paid in advance. So watch your lean years, since fat years have been your profits.
"I am entirely contented…"
Then don’t you think it best to find something to worry about—just as a precaution to accept the inevitable when it does arrive? Even a poor plant bridges a deep crevasse. Why remain ignorant of the inevitable, when a little imaginary trouble can be used as a safety valve?
CREDIT—"I don’t even get credit for what I have done…"
Don’t expect to get credit from credit thieves. Now find those thieves and trust them not to give tribute until after you are dead, so you may not make use of your wages. It is like a check placed in the hands of a dead man instead of gold where the giver is the loser, and to the dead man it is useless.
CREDITORS—"I am always dodging collectors, and it makes me feel like a hunted criminal…"
Yes, and it is running you in the red on the ledger of fear. If you have an obligation to meet a collector, don’t run away, or you make another debt of cowardice, harder to meet next time. Just face it, even if you can’t pay up, and see how much better you feel.
UNJUST CRITICISM—"I have been criticized unjustly, but just wait!—my turn will come…"
Why retaliate at unjust criticism? Is it not known that he who uses this method clasps the poison dagger at the keen edge instead of the handle, blinded by envy and bitter hatred, in fear of expressing his share of unexposed hypocrisy and flying the banner of "Live, but not let live"? It is "I" that comes before "WE" unless "I" sanctions the O.K.
DEBTS—"I am in debt, and see no way of ever getting out of it…"
Well, there is no man living who is not, or does not remain in debt for something. Just do your best to pay your debts, so that you may free or ease your conscience. It is the least that you can do.
Don’t you now believe it would have been best had you paid your debt a few years ago when you could have done so, rather than now when you can’t, though willing to? Now that you have one proof of a fact, strive to make it good, and your chance will come again to prove your present intentions. There is always a second chance. If your friend cannot come to you, can you not go to him?
DEFIANCE—"I defy them all…"
What is there is defy, rebellious against the opinions of men? If your opinion is as sincere as you believe it to be let others defy you, if yours is stronger than theirs.
DEPRESSION—"I don’t see how I can ever get over this depression…"
Well, many men are wondering about the same thing. They forget they had to take it before too, but their ambition for profits drugged that courage they think they now lack; but which can be overcome by the use they made of their hopes before. You say you can’t sing with a splitting headache. You take a drug that deadens pain. You sing, but you still have your headache though you don’t know it. You still have your courage, but you don’t know it because you deaden, you drug that courage. So why not use your common sense, take a deep breath and face the inevitable. You can do it.
DESPAIR—"I am desperate and hopeless…"
Then allow a little time to drift over your head. Place yourself in a cocoon. You may only have been too late for your train, or too early. If the former, sit down; don’t lament. You soon will hear the coming train whistling. Or if you missed your train, take the next one. The last one may have been wrecked.
What would your thoughts have been could you have reasoned logically when a few days old? The fear of neglect, forgotten through the night, etc… But you did, under those environments grow up, depending upon others only, to provide for that which you could not express. Why not do the same right now? For if you should be in danger, among a crowd, you might the sooner be protected and given help than if you were to ask.
DESPERATION—"if I can’t get straightened out pretty soon, I’m going to give up trying to earn an honest living, and go out with a gun…"
I don’t believe it, or you wouldn’t say it. Neither would you have struggled this long to be honest, only to sacrifice in one dark hour before dawn the strength and wealth of character that is the reward of efforts such as you have made. There is a law of compensation, and if you will follow up and put into action the thoughts this makes you think, you will prove it, perhaps for the first time to yourself, but once again to me.
DESPONDENCY—"I am despondent…"
Do you know what enthusiasm is? If so, you will not be despondent by looking into the past. Nor will you procrastinate, because you will have found the solution to doubt and despair, like the gas in your car that will turn the wheels. It’s up to you; forward, backward or neutral, the power is there. It’s only for your will to control and direct it. So it is with your force of enthusiasm to evolve.
Often the reason why you become despondent is that you pull down your shades, then wonder why the sun doesn’t shine in. Why so difficult to read, except all those things in memory, lost opportunities and regrets which sunlight would have driven away just as it would your present despondency had you not pulled down the shades, blinding your eyes to all that belongs to you outside of your shell, if you but will it. You were given your shades, not to deprive you of what there is, but to shut out those things not meant for you, and at the service of your will.
DISAPPOINTMENT—"I am bitterly disappointed…"
Don’t you know that it is not best that you be able always to do what you want to do? You may only satisfy a repression unto intoxication and oblivion. If in a dress suit, at least have an apron or overalls at hand in case you labor at a moments notice. There should never be a time of peace, else competition or monarchy be the result, rusting the sword in its sheaf and drying up the ink that can prevent the sword’s use unless it be used to make clearing in the jungles.
Bear in mind that if you look forward to something and are disappointed, that but strengthens you to hold what you expect, which otherwise you would not be able to hold.
DISBELIEF IN GOD—"I do not believe in a God…"
Then can you give me another name or a word in the place of "God"? It would be foolish to deny a "power" that exists in the solar system, so exact as to determine the exact moment of the eclipse of the sun and moon. What can be more accurate in its law? And "law" must have been established by a greater power than itself. And even though it created itself, then it must have a touch of eternal things, the God of "Time-without-end", under which we came into life and light. Therefore it can be understood only by a part of that understandability. And if you disbelieve a God, then you have not as yet absorbed the Godliness of courage, trust and belief.
IN THE DISCARD—"I guess I’m in the discard, all right. I’m all washed up…"
Do you think a shoe-maker would waste two or three days making a fine pair of boots just to throw them away? Do you think the Lord created you and me just to throw us on the rubbish pile, as the keystone of King Solomon’s temple? Things aren’t done that way by architects, executive and creators.
"I can’t see my way out of it..."
In your present state you cannot do your best thinking; then why think? You are tired, and just need to be recharged.
DISCIPLINE—"I have always been under discipline, and I’m getting fed up on it…"
No one on earth escapes discipline, reward or penalty. Each body has its own direction, labeled within the mind of memory’s instinct, debts unpaid, and unborn bills paid. When birth and death are welded into a circle, we shall know these eternal facts.
There is no man in the world who can be trusted unless he be under discipline of a faith greater than he is himself. Otherwise it means annihilation of his personality, as power is a symbol of self-destruction, breaking through the harness that is not strengthened by an accepted, guiding hand of some power greater than the blind power held in leash.
DISCONTENTMENT—"I am discontented most of the time, and don’t know why…"
Some times it is because your emotion outruns your physical environments. Your mind too far ahead of your environments, hastened by too strong a hope.
Many are discontented because they failed to build their own world big enough with material they really had, and did not know it; a hobby in case of emergency, an alternative, a number of good books in forced idleness, a few trusted friends, some poorer and some wealthier than ourselves, for variation, and to link a human chain of sociability; to show how much better off we are by our poor friends; and still how much higher we can climb, by our more fortunate ones.
DISCORD—"There is continual discord in my home…"
Then the meals you serve are either uncooked or burnt; too much or not enough; too rich with spices or unflavored. Mix a little love in it, and the flower will contain that fragrance added to beauty, which lasts long after the petals fade, just as a good meal’s strength long after it has been eaten.
DISCOURAGED—"I am discouraged…"
Then do the best you can, so that the entire night will have been fulfilled, as an experience into which you will never again wander.
We are often tested as to our sincerity of purpose. For it is that which makes the impression of deeds and character at the right moment upon the setting of concrete or permanency. And while it requires time, it does utilize each possibility to create a mansion of reality.
DISINTEREST—"My work does not interest me…"
Then it is like the charger of your car. The generator does not charge the battery which is being used in starting your engine—consuming the current, but replacing nothing. The presence of a loved one has brought many a man back from the brink of the grave when all else was futile. Why not the thought of a loved one still to come, if there is none now?
DISSATISFACTION—"I am dissatisfied with just about everything…"
Then try a little self-sacrifice or pleasure-dieting (instead of food). It will create an appetite of appreciation, and a realization of your blessings to which you have become blind; for which you have striven, and acquired, but of which you are not aware.
"I am dissatisfied with my progress…"
Then you may be all the more hopeful, because your dissatisfaction but proves your ambition is greater than your environments.
DIVORCE—"I am thinking of getting a divorce…"
Then study the law of Nature before you study the divorce laws, so you may not make the same mistake at your next divorce.
As for spiritual laws, we must bear always in mind that what God binds, no man can put asunder. But when disrespect and indifference take possession of any home where love should exist, then God has no hand in it, but only the god of the primitive. It is not possible to put asunder what God binds together. If you cut asunder the jugular vein, that ends it. Evidently divorcees were not bound by God then! I know nothing that could separate me from my wife, not even death, for the love we bear one another would open the door for the remaining one.
DOUBT—"I am in doubt as to what I should do…"
Then patch up clothes; clean, oil and tighten up bolts on your car; put your shop in order. Your sorrow may be but a blessing’s preparation for a new turn of affairs; for which you have striven and were born. Could you have looked over the fence, foothill or mountain before you, you might have mortgaged all for a handful of marbles through your intoxication, anticipation and ambitious evolution to be today what you may be in maturity; but the weight of wisdom would collapse the strength of youth’s muscles.
"I am still in doubt..."
Then think it over all day from one viewpoint; all night from another. If you do this, sunrise will clear away the clouds for you to see the truth.
DOWN AND OUT—"I am beaten—entirely helpless…"
Have you tried to think yourself out of it by a new viewpoint of life, interest and ambition? Well, just you get acquainted with your thinking apparatus and see whether some things are not visionary myths which you thought concrete; and when you lost them you really found something. Give thought a thought and see if your dreams did or did not amount to anything; and neither will your apprehensive day-dream!
DOWN IN THE DUMPS—"I’m in a blue fog today, way down in the dumps…"
What kind of thoughts are those of yours which make you happy or unhappy when thinking of them? Why not use those you Will to use, that bring only agreeable returns? It’s so silly to sit in a fog when a hop-skip-and-jump or a good big sneeze will cause you or the fog to vanish. Try it and see!
DRINKING—"My husband gets so discouraged he drinks more than is good for him…"
Ask him sometime if he has ever played that foolish trick of stealing an apple and paying for two. If he says "No", tell him he does it every day. He gets blue. Next he takes enough cocktails to forget all about today’s unsolved problems that might have been solved tomorrow were it not for a headache besides the problem.
If he had not dulled his senses, he might have gotten real mad because of burning his fingers handling chestnuts at a fireplace; and by his indignation made good, instead of adding a few more knock-outs tomorrow. He should be moderate and enjoy a thing only while it is agreeable. He should get his head on the bull’s eye, and fire.
Some people subdue their superfluous energy by overdrinking. It is like opening the drafts of the furnace to burn out the fuel quickly because it is too hot; instead of subduing the energy by giving it interesting work to do, even though simple. This would bring good pay for a by-product, as closing the damper to reduce the draft of the furnace.
DRUDGERY—"My life seems a drudge…"
Consider the old example of the ant or bee. Would it be more of a drudge to live as they? Each to do his respective duty, confident that if done, all else will be provided for by those who might deem their own office a drudge. The ant labors all summer, but for what? Only to repay others for what they are capable of doing, protecting from invasion, harm, deprivation or poverty. Is this different than what our nation is striving to do with good men and true? Even though harassed by enemies, there have been improvements, and will continue so. But each ant must know his personal responsibility, and that can come only by mistakes of extravagance, regardless what it may be; even if he works too hard, or enjoys life too much without dividing the joy. So give it another thought.
EATING—"Everything I eat disagrees with me, yet the doctors can find nothing wrong with me…"
When you eat dinner, what is your accompaniment? Regrets for what you have? Envious for what others eat? Do you know what you are eating—or just talk and swallow, ill at ease, and not know what you have eaten; then wonder why heartburn or indigestion…
Why not get real hungry? Sit down alone, with a little agreeable music playing, and see what bread and butter taste like. You are supposed to have prayed for it for years, and still don’t know whether goods have been delivered, for which you asked!
EDUCATION—"I had no chance for an education…"
Perhaps you were, and are still, blind. Look about you, everything in the great schoolroom of God, the great outdoors. The blackboard is missing, but in its stead are living fingers first-handed, not as in a closed room of a university. It is the room of experience, for you to learn the language of things that are, instead of things that were. Use your life for things that are alive, then you shall know more with your newborn application than the students with cold, dead facts and theories, to know how to do and what to think, instead of what to do, and how to think.
COLLEGE EDUCATION—"Well, I’ve had a college education now, I just graduated with honors…"
An education is as wealth. Now that you possess it, what are you going to buy with it? Is your possession safe? Will someone steal it from you, making you a menial servant beneath the dignity of what you should be? Do you demand material for your mental wealth? Are you a spendthrift, so that others make use of you, with no returns? Does your left hand beg from the right? Do you make practical use of your education—or just pose dispute, challenge, criticize and ridicule those who make more frugal use of their little wealth than you do…
Do not despise the handful of fertile grain in the hand of a poor but practical man, compared to your over-flowing barns and bins with their volume of questionable seeds. It is tomorrow that will judge yesterday’s lessons, and today’s corrections. As you labored to share it, give it a place to better the world, and you will have lived to be remembered.
ENTHUSIASM—"I have no enthusiasm for anything, any more. I don’t know what’s the matter with me…"
You have let down, allowed your ambition to wane, and that is like expecting water to take the place of body or digestive juices. The body will create its own, for itself, by mental enthusiasm, so that the brain does not die first. There must be a want of desirable activity to vibrate into life, emotion, desires, to urge enthusiasm onward and upward. Then only will the body die first.
Why is it that when you have no mental enthusiasm you feel listless, sensitive to cold, irritable and nervous. But the moment your mind becomes interested in catching a five-pound trout, bagging a buck, meeting an old friend, your heart beats faster. Blood goes racing through your veins. You perspire with activity of reaction. May you not learn from whence this mental stimula is born, and then give some of it birth to open your eyes to joy’s contentment before it evaporates into old age? When your enthusiasm wanes your Key to many doors has fallen off its ring. If you fail to restore it, all doors are shut against you. Even Nature will not welcome you to its store, but will demand the return of the chemicals of your body to its laboratory.
ENVIRONMENTS—"I do not like my environments…"
Then change them.
"I cannot change them…"
Then change yourself, for only thus will you achieve. Environments mean ninety percent toward the fulfillment of our destiny, as when we find ourselves traveling in ruts made by others, we must use drastic means.
If environments cannot be altered, it is well to have a few apparent calamities so that under the law of relativity one is made to give more value to that which has become common by familiarity.
Labor, discipline and self-control still the fire of impulsiveness so the hand of virtue may lead on to fill the void created by environments contrary to the growth of enlightenment. Environments unfold or destroy new ideas for better or worse, according to the aggressive perseverance or the lack of it. How often do you obey only the law of environments under which you live, rather than what you would do if entirely alone with your own desire or ambition? Give each a trial, and see what you would do in each case.
FAILURES—"I have a constant fear of being exposed in something…"
Then don’t defend your faults too much, as long as people only question. Don’t wait to have them accuse. Smile and be silent, or you may force them to find evidence in self-defence.
FAILURE—"I have made a failure because my expenses are too high…"
Then learn economy instead of making money, and you will be successful. If your balancing beam is too heavy on one side, don’t necessary cut it off. Just place some of your waste (by-products) upon the other end, and it will balance without a loss.
"Why so many failures…"
Because we judge from that point of view of which memory consists. We fail to concentrate on Ideals or our goal, because of so many stumbling blocks that have filled up so many human follies. If we expect stumbling blocks, let us keep our eyes on our goal only, and not be surprised to stumble.
We do not believe strongly enough what we try to make others believe that we believe. We are inclined to believe our doubts more than the impression we try to make as to our sincerity in our own opinion. That is why the realization of our ideals vanishes like a mirage which does not exist, for want of sincere understanding. We are all too apt to forget the lessons of sorrow until they are once more our guests. Sorrow and calamity but remind us of the frailty of life, and should teach us to make light of death, so that it can make not slaves but masters of us.
"I am a failure, and there’s no use denying it…"
Why not make comparison with your ambition and environments? Look beneath your feet; measure the gauge of your rails, and see if you are not traveling on the road of another’s dictation. Come on, wake up; turn your pockets inside out and see for yourself. Get on your own track and see your speed. Then slow down and make up a new schedule.
When you fear failure, you strengthen the very thing that makes you fail. Had you not been fearful, failure could not have been a part of you, with its children, despair born of your state of mind to accept failure as a mate.
Past failures often inspire hope because we did outlive despair. And as we can never make success without failure, it is well that we did invite failure at first, for it insures success.
What happens when your body has not the food it requires? Then what about the food for your brain, that goes to make up your thoughts and action, efforts and results. Whom can you blame for your failure but just plain, blind you.
Most failures have been due to the lack of Will-power. Only the reflexes were tired—idleness to gravitate—when determination would have won the day.
You have no right to complain of failure, no matter what your purpose, if you insist upon exhibiting your goods in the wrong byways. No man or woman cares to deal in bread and butter after a feast, or consider the price of old rags and iron at a New Year dance. Get this point, and you will have no failure or waste. If you doubt it, try to sell doughnuts; first, to an elite congregation leaving the Church on Easter morning; then, to a starving company of mariners on a deserted island.
FAITH—"I sometimes wonder why I lost faith in the belief that once gave me comfort and confidence…"
You are wrong. You did not lose faith. One never loses real faith. Your faith has lost you, and while you are lost, the sunlight of courage does not shine for you; that’s all. Have more faith in your faith, and your hope shall be realized. Then your faith shall find you again. Fate tests your sincerity of worthiness by time, so do not be in fear to live your confidence or faith. Whatever it consists of, it will bear you out.
FALSE ACCUSATIONS—"I have been falsely accused…"
Then be silent in your retaliation, and your enemy will serve you well by his guilt.
If you are unhappy at false accusations, and would be immune, learn to have more confidence in your own judgment by analyzing the facts you believe, so that when anyone calls you a name you are not, you may know that no more harm has been done than for the speaker to have called himself a liar.
FALSE OBLIGATIONS—"I can’t hold up under it much longer…"
You have my sympathy, but I’m not worrying much. They couldn’t kill you with an axe. So if you sink, I’d blame only you, and write as your epitaph, "He tied himself under false obligations, then complained of the terrific load." Where there is love there is no load.
FAME—"Of course I seek for fame… What man does not?"
The most famous men are those who do not know it. They are not aware of it, because that constitutes mastership, honor or honesty. However, if you seek fame, bear in mind to seek also the answer should your fame wither and die. The greatest fame has always been acquired without seeking it, but only what it stood for. Should the violin receive all the credit for what the fingers of the music master produced? Could the musician have played the solo without the violin, or without the brain that composed it?
Man does not always become famous through his own efforts. Often the masses glorify him, and he does not what it’s all about. And often he works and slaves a lifetime to achieve that glory, and the masses fail to see what it is all about. Therefore take as much care of your skeleton’s framework as you do the flesh that surrounds each bone; and you will be well enough balanced to be judged a real man from the viewpoint of a wise man, and a fool, and probably at the envy of both.
BITTER AGAINST "FATE"—"The reason I’m bitter against fate is that it has never given me a chance to make good…"
Did you give it a chance? Or did you demand the luxury of your neighbor without a just trail, why and wherefore! If you did not receive the necessities of life, how comes it that you still live to complain?
You say you’ve never had a chance to make good. But you haven’t starved to death yet, have you? Then what chance had you, that fed you all these years, clothing you and giving you shelter. You had the chance, and took advantage of it. Suppose you had considered other opportunities as seriously. Would you not have realized just as much as you did in the preservation of your life all these years?
Why not consider opportunities a necessity as well. And look for them, as you did shelter for the night; food or clothing for tomorrow. Are you so blind as to differentiate one from the other? Or has the habit of charity for your keep made you near or far sighted enough to close one eye as an alibi that all things are flat, two-dimensions, without perspective of reality…
Is the night the presence of darkness, or the absence of light? Why be a mental clown of farce, with no audience to applaud save yourself, to pay admission, act, applaud and pay your rent! Get off your own foot, and see what pleasure a good walk means. You might meet others who would give you the necessity for the useless burden you carry.
FATHERHOOD—"My son and I disagree…"
Then it is your fault. You are the making of him, body, blood and mind, just as much as in the building of your house. A defect is not an "accident", but ignorance and neglect; and all your money, or lack of money, does not excuse it. If you find fault with your own personal responsibility, just admit this fact; and when your son has a better idea than you have, admit in pride that he is an improvement on yourself. For you helped make him so. Therefore get rid of your egotism and false pride. For if you have been fairly successful, you have enough brains and logic to realize this fact, and perhaps enough manhood to admit it to yourself; enough, maybe, to slide from under this self-accusation and make good before others get wise to it.
"I have done my best to shield my children from the immortality of the modern generation, but I fear I have failed…"
Don’t be too apprehensive as to the virtue of your children. If they value their virtue, they can protect themselves, and if not, the blame then is yours, as your masterpiece or neglect. If you did your best, then you have done your part, and Nature always provides a burglar-proof safe for money that is not counterfeit.
There is not half the danger in the love-making of our young generation who are not quite as wise as they think they are, compared to those, older in experience, who are too ready to think evil according to their own emotions and the apparent opportunity of the young people; but unaware that youth possesses a certain chivalrous pride unless sensuous depravity has seared their brain; and even then it requires two to make a bargain.
Do you think it is the pleasure of gratification only that leads many of our young boys and girls from the path of virtue? Or is it in part, their father-and-motherhood, as in the playing of house, and with dolls as children. If it be the latter, don’t you think we ought to be a little more charitable? You know yourself what you have avoided in Youth. So give them a better break, for your mistakes made. Win their confidence. That’s all they need, and not too ready to punish them for what God implanted in innocent ignorance of the penalty of what man has christened "sin".
FAULTS—"I know I have faults, but I am trying to crush them…"
To realize your faults is half the battle or payment; the effort to overcome them pays the other half. But don’t crush them, for you only prune them. Forget them, and you root them out. You will double the fault if you draw attention to it by self-consciousness.
The best way to overcome faults is to feed them gently, but so little that you starve them. Do not cut them down. Account for each rootlet, or you will think them destroyed, only to find them growing later. Let them starve unnoticed, and the power derived can be used to build up the virtues that will flourish. Strengthen the virtues, and the vices will soon starve. You can’t turn blood into wine, but you can turn wine into blood.
There is no man or woman who has not done wrong in some part of their lives. It is but natural in our ignorance of Nature’s laws. Nevertheless, he who conquers, wears not only the laurel wreaths, but a crown of well-earned self-respect forgetfulness as to past sins. The man who knows he has a fault and corrects it, is again as big as the man who has no faults, but knows it not.
FEAR OF DEATH—"I’ve never been able to overcome the fear of passing on…"
Why not just imagine that you are but on a visit here. The fact will give you a new viewpoint, appetite and food, enough to alter your fear into new expectancy instead of the superstition of ancestry. To fear death is to die every day. You may learn to fear the dentist more than the pain of extracting a tooth. If you doubt, why have you put off what you could have easily have afforded, but feared to do so? There you have your silly notion of death. The new purpose may be more difficult, but by adding confidence you overcome the obstacle with new interest.
FLATTERY—"He was so nice to me…"
Beware from whom you accept flattery. If from an honest man, it’s a tribute; if from a licentious one, an insult.
FOOLS—"He is a worthless fool…"
Why condemn the fool who is harmless? Does he not encourage wise men to seek wisdom to avoid being a fool?
FORCED IDLENESS—"I want to work, but am forced to idleness…"
So is a cocoon forced to idleness; and a discharged storage battery, as well as life in winter. Don’t you think there are two sides to a fence? Well make the best use of the night by sleeping well, and working better next day.
Forced idleness either makes or breaks. It proves emptiness or brings out ability as an irritative desire to do. When men and women are forced to sit down in idleness, they necessarily begin to think. What else can they do? And in thinking they are recharging themselves and strengthening either an old ambition, or creating a new one, according to the thirsty, hungry seed in the garden of their heart, which longs to sprout.
So what about you? Do you ever sit down quietly, with the intuition of analyzing your chances and prospects? Or do you just drift along. When a loose log bumps against you where is your grip on your solid opportunity? Don’t say you have no chance. There is no man alive who is not without some loophole to escape from his prison. Try the above and get a real kick out of this little game of destiny.
FORGETTING—"I am trying to forget…"
Then bear in mind that things can be forgotten only by remembering. What may be heavy for your right, tired arm may be light for your rested left arm. If you wish to forget sorrow, remember past joy, and sunlight will dispel the darkness of doubt to see the future that holds new joy and by hope and faith inborn.
FREEDOM—"I have no freedom…"
Can you not will your will to will what you will, free to do what you will to do? Even if restraint, still there is a freedom of thinking what you will think. If restraint or the inevitable, you can will your will to accept the next best thing, until freedom be the result; even to death, if you will it.
Your body may be made a slave; still you may at will think freedom, accuse, condemn, appreciate what you will. You may refuse any command, and before the face of a King, ridicule him, defy him, by your will: telling him that your body may be cut in twain, but your mind and will laughs at him because under its influence you are free to accept or refuse; for that will is you, unconquered, the body but the house which is all that may be destroyed.
FRIENDS –"I have lost friends through a mistake of my own…"
Were they friends who could thus be so easily lost, through a stroke of weakness at a moment of thoughtlessness on the part of a "friend"-yourself? If you have done such a great wrong, and feel it necessary to begin all over again, don’t you think it a blessing in disguise, to bring out "the only way", the mission of your existence?
FUTURE—"No one can tell what the future holds…"
Why insult yourself by such a statement? It is an insult to the human race. How often has the future not been revealed, by both the most lowly and the great scientific minds: and still men will throw up their hands and throw down their tools, and say that no one can tell what may happen! Shame on you, to have so little faith!
GLORY—"I am looking for glory, to be sure, but I want to able to retain it…"
Then you must do things every day to be worthy of that crown, or you will not only lose it, to be forgotten, but will have fallen from the heights with a crushed spirit of "what might have been". You will have tasted only for a moment of the sweet; and you will regret for a lifetime the fickle public applause.
GOD—"There cannot be a God who would allow his creation to suffer or be infected with leprosy or cancer…"
Aren’t you rather stupidly hasty in your judgment? What is the difference in mentality between a fool and a philosopher, a Hottentot and a Michael Angelo? What inspires them? What is their masterpiece, that alone may prove a God, a creator of ideals in marble? Gaze at the statue of the "Pieta" where the crucified Christ lies on the lap of Mary; then compare it with the idol made by a savage, his masterpiece. Can you now honestly give an answer that will be a credit to your reason? If not, study reason a little more, to measure the difference between cleverness and wisdom, crudity and culture; and you will find it possible to understand that there are things possible even if you cannot as not as yet grasp them, as the savage who is blind to your own created God which he too doubts as you do my God.
If you do not believe in a God, substitute your Mother, a wife or sweetheart whom you feel to be above you, and worthy of your respect. See the wonderful effect. Even though the cause be unknown, your symptoms will vanish. Hope will be born to grow into that youth of faith that leads to that manhood of reality. Try it in secret, if you are ashamed to do so openly. If old-time lifers in prison have found this remedy successful, what chances have you in your blind shackles, and still possessing freedom?
"Sometimes I feel as if God was hiding from me and my babies…"
During those hours consider: might not God believe that you are hiding from Him, forced into your despair and doubt because of the inhumanity of man? You are a pioneer from strong stock. Like rubber it may be stretched, shaped in the strong hand of environment, but soon the hand of adversity relaxes and you take on the individuality of your real self. You can’t lose…
GRIEF—"Others may think they have their grief, but mine is greatest to bear…"
What is your grief? Is it self-pity? A selfish loss? Is it a loss of a loved one? The will of God? The neglect of duty? Did you not have the chance to get all the love there was, if you did not neglect, or waste the time or opportunity to make the very best of that time which might have prevented even the justifiable loss?
Can you lose that which was but loaned to you for the pleasure you now grieve over? Is it a loss if you are to follow to regain it? Then where and what is your grief, which may bring greater grief still by like attracting like? You might say it is well for me to bring up this subject, which in fact has the same results if applied to me, or any man who looks into the garden of another. Be simple in thought, and know that we are but as stars in the firmament. One less can never be noticed. And you will see greater purposes than self-pity for imaginary losses.
Don’t let today’s grief starve your hope for tomorrow. A scar does not give pain, but it can be a glorious badge of recognition of the inevitable. Look back at similar sorrow, and see if it did not better your condition, just as the tree whose poor weak branches were torn off only to grow bigger and better ones.
"I usually get up with a grouch…"
Then have a little sense of humor. Look in the mirror, and have a good laugh at your importance. At least it will start the day with a smile, and not end with tears.
HANDICAPS—"All my life, I have been handicapped…"
Be thankful for it. It may not have been a help in your pull up the hill, but surely will be when you glide down and use it for a hold-back strap to avoid an avalanche of failure, as is always the case with easily attained wealth, since the beginning of time. It may hold you just long enough to learn what not to do, to fail, as others ahead of you have learned too late, to their sorrow.
HAPPINESS—"I’ve never been so happy in all my life…"
I am glad you are happy, but suggest that you divide your happiness into contentment, or your temporary happiness will turn to sorrow and regret by its absence.
HARDBOILED—"I’m too hardboiled to care for nay of this philosophical stuff…"
Let’s agree that you are hardboiled, and care nothing for good sound-sense philosophy. But by that denial you admit that you use it to attain that which you sincerely love, and don’t know it. So use your own word for that of "Philosophy".
HARDSHIPS—"I have never had any real hardships…"
Then I am sorry, and advise you to seek companionship of the hardships of others, for it is real hardship that temper us to carry out big things; and we need to see both angles, so we may have absolute knowledge of things worthwhile. This is our foundation upon solid rock, and not the sands of hearsay.
HARD WORK—"I am so tired of working hard…"
How did you get your job? Was it your will, forced by mistakes for you now to rectify because you are tired? No one ever feels tired when in ideal environments. Just keep on getting tired until you can’t bear it anymore; then you will be discharged, (a favor to you), and you will make the effort to put your car in gear and get to where you really want to go, where you will work harder than now, but won’t get tired. Think it over, and at least get fishing tackle ready, if you like fishing.
HEALING—"My health is failing fast, and I don’t know whether to turn to medical science or divine healing. I have friends on both sides…"
The horns of most dilemmas are the father and mother of a child who holds the answer. Science can assist Nature to heal most obstinate diseases as long as the patient has control of his mind, and still has a want and an ambition. Nature, peace, understanding of circumstances, good common sense and practicality will work "miracles" in regard to health or achievements.
The mind of man is the greatest power of all, as even the best doctors will tell you. Whatever the form in which it is dressed, or whatever the name by which it is called there is a subtle power in the minds of God’s children that can heal. It need be dressed in no other mystery than a simple Prayer or a "Want".
HEART-BROKEN—"My lover has proven false, my best friend has betrayed me—that is why I am heart-broken…"
Be thankful that they exposed themselves so early in your game of life, before their roots became too deeply set; for they have lost more in losing you than you in losing them.
HEAVEN—"I do not believe in heaven…"
Then why don’t you make this life as close to one as you can? Then you will not be disappointed if you find yourself in the right as to other heavens.
HELPLESSNESS—"I feel so helpless…"
This does not mean that you are so. Perhaps you are on a great ocean liner, speeding faster than your own feet, thinking yourself idle.
HOMELINESS—"I am homely and unhappy…"
Why not settle among those homelier than you are. You will be the best looking among them. And you will become happy.
Also why not strengthen your character to make people forget your appearance. Have not the most beautiful woman in history fallen in love with the most "homely" men? Why—if not that character of personal dynamic force, whether animal or spiritual. It proved some force of will and self-confidence of the successful salesman, because he was his own client first by selling himself.
HONESTY—"I want it understood that I am an honest man…"
Don’t be too sure of your advertisement. It is an advertisement, isn’t it? Even that in itself may be dishonestly capitalized. Honesty is selfdom exploited, but a faculty, a characteristic of the breed, color and manners of a tribe, to be taken advantage of by self-made dishonest men who are mistrusted—or by themselves to exist naturally and perpetuate honesty and truth, unadulterated, as it is.
"Well, I have been dishonest in the past, but I have turned over a new leaf…"
Then don’t expect pay for your efforts. Honesty is wages in itself.
HOPELESSNESS—"I have no hope, no chance…’
What would a barrel of hard tar say to this, if one end is open, laying down in hope of being free of the prison, realizing that it could flow out in one year, unnoticed, unseen? Still there will be an empty barrel, just as if the tar were water: only it has the hope of time, just as we all have, if we will. It is like bending a candle double. If you do it in ten days, it can be done. But try it at once, and it will be impossible.
"I am despondent, desperate, hopeless, hysterical: and have no one to go to…"
Absolute proof to me that you are out of tune with yourself. Why not try the old faithful remedy of the martyrs, forefathers and pilgrims? Whenever death was immanent, they faced it with a smile, by a prayer to God, or a power greater than we are, which exists in order to create us. Try it and see for yourself the result of a peaceful mental reaction of being in tune.
HURT PRIDE—"Someone has hurt my pride…"
Then let it stand as an indebtedness, before you make it a real sin by planting hatred born of ignorance, jealousy or unintentional. Ninety percent of hurts were not meant so. How many men curse a rock in the road over which they stumble, when the rock was there first, and had more of a right to complain…
IDEALS—"I have high ideals…"
But it’s not enough just to have an ideal. Even a fool may have one. But to create it in material form so even a fool may understand and thus you have made him wiser: that’s authorship, the offspring of a Creator.
IDEAS—"I have ideas I believe would benefit humanity…"
What good are they if you do not make them flesh or give them form? Let them enter a material shape, like a soul into a body. Then others may behold. At least let the inspiration spring into action to be recorded by others to evolve unto greater things.
IDLENESS—"I have no freedom in my idleness. I’m always at home, like in a prison…"
Well can you read? Do you want a trip to Africa without expense and without hardship, sitting by your fireside? Then choose a good book, and be free while you read on. Turn on your radio. Play solitaire, just like an "idle" (?) pugilist punching the bag, or shadow-dancing, to put him in fighting trim. So it is with us all in these modern times. We make ourselves prisoners merely by closing our eyes to see nothing; still, more fortunate than the blind who would see if they could. And you can, but don’t.
"I am idle and discontented…"
Why not just interview your past memory. Go into detail looking through your mental album. It will awaken interests you never dreamed of, as well as exercising what you may capitalize to bring you out of your discord and create a condition that destroys your idleness into real, new action. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
IGNORANCE—"I am only an ignorant man…"
Be proud that you are ignorant upon subjects that mean so little to you, for you have not wasted your talent, but made use of it for that which was meant more for you to acquire, where heart and mind are one.
And don’t forget that the more ignorant you believe yourself to be, the wiser you are, for it requires wisdom to realize or recognize ignorance.
IMMORTALITY—"I do not believe in immortality…"
Then don’t commit yourself that you have not tried, or are incapable of analyzing facts presented "as is", admitted by masters that were, and denied by fools that are.
INCURABLE DISEASE—"I am sick with an incurable disease…"
Who told you so? Nothing is impossible. Totally blind men have regained their sight. "Fatal" diseases have vanished. Men are not infallible in their opinion, or these same men would not die so young. I’ve seen so called "fatal" diseases trying to get a foothold for twenty years; and up to date they have not conquered yet; and another who had "perfect health" (?) died fifteen years ago.
Who should worry if you are holding your own, and not feeling worse than yesterday? Get the
dis-ease out of your mind and its furniture soon will be put on the street. At least God has given you a warning; and not like him who died in his supposed strength. Just think a few sincere prayers to the Inventor of your human machine. He will send a Mechanic to replace some broken parts, for they were all duplicated, to correct the first mistake. So up with your confidence in the Will of God—or in Yourself, as you prefer.
INDIGESTION—"Nearly everything I eat gives me indigestion…"
Then bath, internally and externally; and fast, to correct your neglect. But have you given it a thought that it may have nothing to do with your stomach? You may have mental or moral indigestion without knowing it. Just take each one and dissect it, and you will find a solution to your drawbacks.
Your eyes can have indigestion too, don’t forget; and you will be unable to see anything new of interest until you go on a trip, to find on your return things to which you were blind. And why? If you claim to be good at figures, just analyze this. Also it will pay you to stop for a moment and find out whether it is your indigestion that creates your morbid thoughts, or your morbid opinion, your indigestion.
INFERIORITY—"I’m as good as you are…"
If you would think those things instead of saying them, you would be surprised at the strength they would give you; but to say them clips the stub ends of what little wings you have. To say "I’m as good as you are" is the voice of inferiority speaking. The man who knows he is wouldn’t say so.
INFERIORITY—"My opinion can’t have much value; I‘m just an ordinary person…"
If you think so, be sure to compare your opinion with that of those you think are better informed than you are. Then when you find yours was better, capitalize it. And if not as good, then you alone know your mistakes; so improve upon them. For there are geniuses hidden among those who consider themselves but "ordinary".
INFIRMITIES—"All these years I have been handicapped by my infirmity…"
Do you realize that it might have been a whip to bring you out the more? Just observe men who have been hurt, physically or mentally. They have been vaccinated; immune to those things that are fatal to others. Either you die from the operation, or, if you live, you are greater the average man.
INSULT—"I have been insulted before my friends…"
Can you be insulted if you do not recognize it? When someone insults you, and you don’t ignore it, you catch the ball which otherwise he must pick up again. Bear in mind that one is apt to feel insulted when a fact is expressed that he represses. He resents the possibility of its being discovered. Wise men know this, so if you don’t wish them to see through your hurt feelings, don’t admit that you have been insulted.
IRRITABLILITY—"I feel so irritable most of the time…"
Find out why, if you want to overcome it. Has someone stolen something of you which you have not missed, but sense? Have you stolen unconsciously from another as a burden to you? Have you assumed a place not your own? Or caused another to do so from selfish, apprehensive motives? Are you stepping on the foot of another, unwilling to move on, and holding another from doing so, so that both lose their purpose in life, forcing another to assume a double load of life?
OUT OF A JOB—"I’ve lost my job…"
Well, what of it? It was not yours, or how could you lose it? Perhaps its right owner found it, as you will find yours held down by someone who is going to lose it as soon as you get your will in harness and search, as you should have done before you accepted the one you thought you lost.
No wise employer will let a good man be hired elsewhere. If he does, be glad not to work for him. You won’t get a break if he does not know the difference between good and not so good. Remember, you in your community are as important as the higher-ups, relatively. You must do your duty 100 percent as well as your employer, and receive returns according to your value or you are cheating.
Business is not a charity institution; nether must it be a treadmill of slavery. No brainy man is expected to push a wheel-barrel, nor an ignorant man to keep books. The man who believes in his labor, sweats at it, and doesn’t know it. He does not separate his interests of mind and body, forgetting personal responsibility and remembering the five o’clock whistle only.
I have had many horses. Some were trained wrong and needed punishment to do their work—a whip. Others were so willing, they would kill themselves in the harness and I had to hold them down or lose them. So it is with some fine foreman who fire grumblers and hire workers. The former get nowhere; the latter are held down.
Your duty is to choose your foreman, as his is to choose you; then you do teamwork, with an understanding that binds friendship, honor and good wages.
So again, if you’ve lost your job, what of it? There are a lot more to be had for you, regardless of crepe-hangers. Don’t you know you are more of a necessity to an employer than he is to you, if you are a good worker? You’ll get another and a better job if you just say you will, and then go for it with all the determination you’ve got to sell your stuff. If not, you’re not worth what you bragged about. So come on; try it once more. I’ll guarantee you more confidence and faith.
JOKING—"I was only joking, but he has made a serious thing out of it…"
Well, don’t you go making a "serious" thing out of it just because he has. You will find many men in this world who take exception to a harmless joke, making it a capital punishment only to cover guilty sins committed. After this, however, be cautious how near the truth your joke may be, for vengeance is born within the hurt pride of your victim.
KICKING—"I haven’t said much yet; but wait till I start in…"
Be glad you can kick--but don’t. Be glad you can find fault—but don’t. Have self-control till God places a scythe in your hands. A man that kicks has superfluous energy, enough to do his work and still kick. A horse in a barn, tied to a halter, kicks the side of the barn down—and then freezes, wishing he had not kicked it down. With the horse that controls it, that energy goes into the hair to make it sleek and glossy, fill out his skinny places: turning into beauty, and overcoming ugliness, till the master of those stables comes along and says, "My, what a beautiful horse. I didn’t know I had such a fine horse. Here, I will make a place worthy of him." And so he fences in a nice pasture and turns him lose in the Spring. If you have ears you will heed the parable of the horse that could kick so well—but didn’t.
KINDNESS—"I tried to be kind to him, but I don’t know what good it did…"
If a man does not respond to your kindness, he knows not what it is, and is unworthy of your good impulses. The act of ignoring condemns him. If you do a kind act and it be not returned or appreciated, consider that such a person not big enough to be capable of returning such kindness; so pity him only, until such time as he may realize his shortcomings, and his guilty conscience will do some good to offset his fault.
LABORING MAN—"What chance have I in the world today? I am only a laboring man…"
Well, if you are laboring you are being paid for what your muscle has to offer. If you offer an efficient or practical brain, you will receive the wages for it, greater than mere brawn. What you offer has its recompense, so blame only yourself for returns. A policeman is paid for his hazards; a miner for his drudge, though the manager walks in and out and gets more pay. The president at his clean desk does no physical labor, but receives the greatest profit. He offers an opportunity for those who think they have muscle to sell. Even a filthy rubbish heap may bring forth a more beautiful rose than a hothouse. It has been done among men, why not you?
LABORED FOR NOTHING—"I have labored fifty years for nothing, just kept alive, that’s all, but gotten nowhere…"
You and I both know the name of a man who labored fifty years to make a fortune of several million dollars. But he lost it, and went in debt besides. So you are wealthier than he is, even when you are flat broke. Besides that, he went to jail. So if your laboring has kept you out of mischief, kept you from murdering and from going to prison, have you labored for nothing? See how quickly he would trade places with you, and consider it getting somewhere to be where you are now.
LEADERSHIP—"We can’t all be leaders…"
That’s true, but make the effort first, to give yourself the chance. Be a leader with what God and Nature entrusted within you. If you absolutely cannot, then be a loyal follower to the good end.
"I have done all I could to be recognized as a leader in my own field…"
Then apparent failure should not discourage you. How do you know but what "Fate" is preparing you for just that, but in reserve for over night? So keep it up, forget yourself, and others will remember you all the more.
LONELINESS—"I am lonely and hidden away…"
Don’t despair. Your chance is still coming, like a scarce article placed on a shelf to be sold some day at a high price because it is so different, but still for use.
LOSS—"I have had a great loss…"
Well, then you can now become still bigger than you appeared to be, by just how you take your deficit. And if you are bigger than your rich opportunities, then you cannot call it a loss, but another experience of greater achievement. And if undeserving, you can but fall to your level. Then you will be living a life more true to Nature. And you will thrive in those environments honestly your own, and with your own.. The name-plate on your door need not identify you. Not any more than a gold-plated ring its brass interior.
So why regret too much inevitable losses? They will capitalize into appreciation which possession might have dulled. But now your mind has been made more keen as to values.
CHOICE OF LOVE—"I cannot choose between them, and yet I must or I shall lose them both…"
If you don’t know which of two you love best, you don’t as yet love either of them the way you should to marry one of them. If you are not in hast in choosing a life’s partner, you will not lose yourself by a mistake; neither will you lose the love intended, and to which nature and harmony of choice will lead you. All boys and girls have within themselves the faculties to choose a mate by that polarity which is most congenial if unhampered by the influence of others. But before you choose your mate, get your second wind. You know your first sprint leaves you out of breath, a congestion of the lungs and heart, and not at your best. Allow your blood even distribution, then your run of a lifetime is assured, and you will win the race of permanent love and happiness.
LOVE—"The only thing that mars my happiness in love is the fear that it may not last…"
Then be cautious that you do not overdo your first love, or you may believe that to be the only kind of love, depending most upon physical sensations, neglecting the friendship and spiritual sentiments that live long after the first love is dead. But neither must you neglect the first, for it is the material roots of earth. The stem or trunk of that tree is the fraternal river through which humanity flows. Then come the leaves and that which exists within the brain.
Divide these equally as you do the twenty-four hours of the day: the first, in labor; the next in play and meditation; the last, in rest and sleep. The first love is youthful, animal; the second, mature, and a champion for young and old. The third is Godlike, and its fruits are eternal things. Many a heart has been broken because the bud was taken for the blossom. It was plucked so the fragrance of love could not escape—but was held prisoner to die before it was given birth. But true love in its triunity, (physical, mental and spiritual), is the greatest, sweetest emotion of man, more lasting, tender and unselfish than anything else in existence. It is a touch of God’s spirit that defies and overcomes even death itself to overcome life. By this alone is one bound "forever", that none can cut asunder.
MENIAL LABOR—"I am ashamed to let my friends know what kind of a job I’ve got…"
Don’t be ashamed or backward in doing menial labor. If you are above it you soon will be replaced. If not, you may force yourself into a higher position only for a day, to fall back with no courage or hope as to your silent ambition which, alone, like a grain of wheat, in time becomes the entire world output. So keep working. Little shoots of the oak tree become sturdy limbs.
MENTAL CHAOS—"I am in mental chaos…"
Then it is best to put a halter on your horse, (your Will), or he may run through a barbed wire fence. Control your emotions for the sake of tomorrow’s joy and understanding. Give it a trial in a small test, and see what even a sense of humor can neutralize. You might be astonished at what will and power you really possess, and never knew it. You’ve had your dance. Don’t you expect to pay the fiddler? You hired him. If you weep now, why did you want to dance?
MENTAL DISTRESS—"I am mentally distressed…"
Why not just try this little test. Imagine yourself being the Great Designer of Life. And even you ask Him for what you will. Note the change in your opinion of things; the greater calm within your heart. Give it a test. If you were a mother, and should your little boy come to you in this same manner, what would your answer be? Then why not the same reply from God.
Of course, if you think yourself too hard-boiled and high-hat, why you have not the imagination, as an artist to speak this language. Without imagination one lives in a house of flesh without any windows. There is no love because there is no light to reflect it. There is no reason to, because there is nothing to see in order to understand.
MISFORTUNE—"Misfortune seems to be my lot…"
Don’t treat it as such. Bear in mind that we are often made prisoners of environments, as in a cocoon, but without a prison or shackle in evidence: just held in ignorance, apparently forgotten, out of sight and mind of those who cannot see us until that unseen prison is opened, releasing wings of recognition attached to Personality just born. Then only can you recognize your blessings in disguise.
Problems and misfortunes are welcome blessings to immunity to oblivion and failure. They awaken the faith and hope born in our souls.
MISSED—"I wonder if I will be missed after I have gone…"
Don’t wait to be missed after you are gone, so tears may wash away memory. Make yourself be missed right now while still among those whom you love, or whom you have made love you—so you lived in reality, with no memory of regret. Only dead ashes remain that might have anchored you to those memories waiting for the real dead to rise, who have already gone ahead and are waiting.
MISSIONS TO PERFORM—"I feel that I have a mission to perform…"
Then take nothing for granted but those things created and executed by yourself only, or your mission will but end as a servant to a servant. And don’t expect to be entirely contented. Be consoled that you are not, for that is the fire which keeps your tea-kettle boiling. But be cautious not to throw on too much fuel or the tea-kettle will boil over and extinguish the flames. Also bear in mind that if we have a mission to perform we must pass through the test of fire, which alone can destroy the dross and impurities.
MISTAKES—"I have made a mistake…"
Then there is but one recourse, unless it be irreparable. Rectify it before it becomes an indelible habit. Even marriage is binding only when and where there is respect and love. Otherwise it becomes a sacrilege against Nature and against God.
If it was a trivial mistake, don’t make another by spending today’s valuable time correcting it. Rather chalk it down in the memory as a lesson and spend the energy doing today’s work doubly well as a foundation for tomorrow. If it was a grave error that never can be undone, then bury it forever in your subconscious mind where you may forget in well-doing, but where it shall ever function as the hidden well-spring of a noble life.
MONEY—"I have lost a lot of money…"
Granted. But did you not also make money? More than your neighbor? Did you not expect the pendulum of your old grandfather clock to swing back and forth as it did for him? Then why complain because of your blindness to fail to hold what was yours. Now that you have lost it on the back-swing of the pendulum, know that it will swing back again so you can once more be successful. But, let’s hope, a little more wise. That is why we have the pendulum of time. Or why have a clock to tell us our weakness?
"I’ve spent my money unwisely…"
Well, then you must run about without it now, to know the value of your next possession. How else can you know the value of anything if you know not the loss of one thing? Be glad you are in the cards ready to be dealt again.
It’s not what we do with our money, but what our money does with us, that concerns us with its results, good or ill. Often what we do with our money before we have it, is better than when we have it to do with.
MONOTONY—"Everything is so monotonous and boring. I am blue half the time and nothing seems worthwhile…"
Is it because you have planted nothing worthwhile to harvest, to look forward to? Why not create something for tomorrow. You will find it interesting to see it grow, as it nears its blossoms. Make a fair test, and you will more than enjoy its fruits. If not, then you are not only helpless, but are that blue disappointment itself.
Is it ourselves, or that which passes through our minds, that count? Is it the copper wire, which but carries the current, or the messenger boy carrying the message? Or is it that which is being delivered that really means the most.
"My life is monotonous, and I have no other choice…"
Then you still can derive pleasure and activity from it by learning to interpret, and releasing monotonous activity as you would fertilizer into the perfume of roses. From out of the night of monotony all lights were born, and into its cover shall we change our attire to meet the morning of the sun.
MOTHERHOOD—"I want to be a good mother…"
Then don’t allow the education of man to destroy the maternal instinct of love from God, expecting your acquired knowledge to take the place of a mother’s instinct for her child. It can’t be done; for when a sick child is helpless at the hands of the greatest physician in the world, it is safe in the warm arms of its "ignorant" (?) mother.
"Sometimes the realization that I am going to have a baby fills me with great joy, but at present I am filled with apprehension, and trying to overcome the tear stage…"
Don’t try to overcome it. It is but the symptom of nature’s emotions, a safety valve of your brain to prevent congestion—and perhaps the only way the little one has to give vent to its own emotion. Your apprehensions are natural, though needless. If love and thoughts are things, then you have nothing further to worry about. No joy is complete until we have accomplished all that God has imposed. Where there is no natural suffering, there is no natural joy. It is but nature strengthening you for the coming human blossom. And I do know that afterward you will be willing to go through it again just for that new ecstasy of Motherhood.
The future holds more sacred joy than you ever thought possible, if you will only be a little patient, hopeful and considerate. For don’t forget that sometimes your little double gets a little angry too, and uses your tongue just because you don’t eat enough to feed a sparrow, let alone a little rascal.
What you allow this little one to see through your eyes and feel through your heart, will be recorded in its inheritance. So while you are building this little human edifice, build it with all the gifts and qualities you wish it to possess. For is it not in the building that the little body is formed, its tiny fingers and toes? And, so to, with its brain. It is depending entirely upon you for the instruments that will hew out its future endeavors. Give it the best in each of your prayers, and it will sustain you in all of your future life.
NERVE—"I lack the nerve to carry out my plan…"
Then practice it on your equals first. After that, on your superiors. Don’t be a dreamer without materializing your aspiration. When you have visualized your Ideal, you have the framework. Be sure you have your plans in your mind’s eye. The rest is but detail which anyone can apply. Few can invent a new article, but a thousand can improve it.
God had confidence in you, or He would not have created you. The fact that you exist at all proves your worthiness to live on, and to better yourself and your associates. Keep your object in view constantly. Though you may stumble over enemies as obstacles, continue on. Each step brings you nearer. Each fall makes you more determined as you approach your goal. And when you do turn and face your beaten trail, you will realize for the first time the pitfalls you have avoided. No one strives for the path upward without a strenuous effort. There are too many adrift without a rudder, who follow in the wake of faster crafts on their way to success.
NERVOUSNESS—"My nervousness makes me despondent…"
Then change your entire environments which seems to have created it: persons, noises or irritating scenes. Choose a quiet place, even if a block away. Just sit down and rest. Think how fortunate you really are to be able to sit down and think: perhaps new thoughts, or even pleasant old ones.
Try it for an hour and see how differently you feel. Or force your trend of thought away from those thoughts that tire you, irritate or remind you of losses or loved ones in the past. Look up thoughts that have rested and become as strong as a newly charged storage battery. You will find them if you look deep enough.
For why is that when you have become despondent, if an unexpected visitor should call on you, instantly your tired feeling disappears. Or suppose you received a letter from a loved one, or a check you did not expect; perhaps an offer or an opportunity. Why do things instantly change from what they were, if you have not been thinking with worn-out thoughts and a weakened storage battery?
Just play a beautiful melody a thousand times and see if it sounds as beautiful to you as it did the first two times you played it. Thus it is with your emotions, your thoughts, and your actions. You will find this to be the case with most of our sorrow, despair and blueness, because like looks for like, begs for like, and gives like. If tears, then tears you shall see and receive. If a smile, then a smile in return. Try to curse some man on the street; then see what you get in return!
NEWLY-WEDS—"We are back from our honeymoon now, and settling down to wedded life. We do so want to make a success of it, and live happily…"
Then be sure to hold sacred two little rooms as your very own, where you may be just as you were when you were sweethearts; with no sword, nor an arm of roses used only to remind you there are obligations. Remember the choice of your hearts was given by God, so sustain it by that sacred closeness of confidence and understanding, and your wish shall be granted. Never sleep over a misunderstanding, or hide your true feelings. Always "have it out" before the day is over, and then make up again before you go to bed.
Bear in mind also that the moment a couple lose sight of those things in common, that moment they have reached the parting of the ways. But if you want to live peacefully and harmoniously, don’t remember constantly that you are married. Make each other feel that freedom from criticism, jealously and suspicion, and you will feel more loyal and trustful without the compulsion of forced love.
NOTHING WORTH LIVING FOR—"I have nothing worth living for…"
Then why not tape your eyes for three days, just to prove that you are fooling yourself. Close your ears for the next three days. Bind your hand behind you. Let a friend place a silk cord around your throat and close upon it; then when almost strangled for air, note how thankful you will be for just a little of that air. And you say you have nothing to live for! Rather say that Nature has no use for you when you blind yourself, deafen and strangle yourself, and don’t even know it. That’s why you think you have nothing to live for. Nature has nothing to offer a man who has nothing to live for.
OBLIGATIONS—"I have obligations I wish I had not assumed…"
Then let it be a lesson what not to do again. We often assume obligations too heavy to carry because of lost opportunities and our desire to sustain our false pride. We have no right to assume personal obligations without giving serious thought as to the authenticity of their truth in our evolution toward the more perfect truth—and not merely its tributaries. An obligation is an obligation only when we assume it. But then, being the parent of it, we must allow it to mature.
OPPORTUNITY—"There aren’t any opportunities; and even if there were, what chance would have I, with no groundwork, no backing…"
Well, there is the air outside—everywhere. What do some men receive for playing a song on a piece of brass not over a pound in weight; or on just a few ounces of wood in a violin? A woman sings a few songs. Where does it all come from? Man takes a little of the atmosphere into his lungs and expels according to his will and rhythm. And you pay the price of his free gift in delivering that volume of air to reach your brain, from whence it too was born.
Why don’t you give birth to the same opportunities that God has placed at your feet, to put in your brain? Just a few different notes on a bugle mean death, retreat, surrender or victory. So you may make use of that atmosphere for anything. You may use it for health, joy, song, curses, prayers, or a death rattle. So what are you kicking about? It’s only your blind, unappreciative, lazy mind that only opens up its mouth to swallow everything instead of really something worthwhile.
So come out of it! There are heavy streams to turn your mill. Go get grain; or at least repair and open up your mill. Others like you will gladly bring grain, if you can grind it. Is not man King of the Earth? Well, prove it to yourself. Don’t become its garbage carrier!
POOR MAN—"What is a poor man like me to think when I see the rich roll down the road in their Rolls Royces…"
Well, why not think about the finer, stronger, more outlasting machine that you have. I mean your healthy body that can be made to outlast ten Rolls Royces: self-repairing and self-governing. It is more vital than all the rich man possesses. He might as willingly give you all he possesses for your machine; which, if offered, you would refuse. So why waste your time for a bargain you would refuse anyway? Why not pick out a better road for your machine, where other machines could not travel…
POVERTY—"I am poor and neglected…"
You may be poor today. That is no disgrace. But as for being neglected, just analyze facts and see if you laid down any money first for the goods you expected to take with you. If you feel you have been neglected, was it someone else with ulterior motives who injected into your mind the thought that you were neglected: and you, with a guilty, lazy mind used that as a subterfuge?
You know a dictaphone and echo are not guilty in lying. They but repeat what they hear. Whose fault is it now if you are poor and possess cabbage seeds. Do you expect to reap roses after your planting? Take courage from the fact that the greatest geniuses are born from the poor who have more liberty than the rich. Even a tramp has no taxes, no debts to pay from his viewpoint.
Then take the very rich, and most of our geniuses. Is there not a very thin membrane between the rich and poor, where just a little tear makes them one? Or, with geniuses, one grain of sand and they become insane. One more straw breaks the camel’s back.
Why not think of these things and consider yourself a part of the town clock of civil service; or part of the works of a diamond watch on the wrist of a beautiful society girl to tell her when to go out or come home. Without you, even for a moment, the clock would stop in replacing you as its gear. But if you make yourself a diamond setting or escapement, you will be too valuable to be replaced. Just add a little more time to your efforts, a few more feet to your flagpole to raise that flag above all others, to be seen the farthest.
Don’t mind the business of your neighbor, but your own, to get all that is coming to you, so you may be indispensable to your employer who staked his claim before you did, but who cannot dig the gold without you. If this be better understood, no one need be taken advantage of by racketeers, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Why specify that you have five fingers and describe each? Just say "the Hand". Everyone knows the details, and should know the loss of time trying to specify.
PRIDE—"I can’t subdue my pride…"
Then you haven’t any. It’s false. True pride is tolerant, condescending, charitable, understanding. If you have it not, you will not see poverty nor the fool who but asks recognition in the scheme of life.
PROFANITY—"I have a habit of cursing…"
Why not ridicule it by laughing at it as a useless waste of words each time you curse. To ridicule a man, you know, is one way to use a heavy club unseen, still with the same results. Only instead of hitting the body you strike the mind that carries the wound of pride longer. If you stop and think that ridicule is one of the most powerful weapons of man, which only the wise man is able to use effectively, but seldom does save secretly upon himself to wound the pride that would rob him of his wisdom, perhaps you will find the combination of thoughts that will burst out into the spontaneous combustion of application to your habit of cursing.
PUBLIC OPINION—"I am worried over what people will think of it…"
Why worry over people’s opinion when you have done the best, and are doing the best you know how? Does not your 2 and 2 equal the same result as their 3 and 1? If results count instead of intentions, are you not on the right trail to your destiny, your contented home? So why not keep agoing and see the results?
QUEST—"My search was all in vain…"
Impossible! No search was ever in vain. What you look for often blinds you to what you should not find. Therefore your time was not wasted, regardless of whether or not you succeeded.
RELIGION—"Sometimes religion seems not strong enough to hold us…"
Rather say we are too weak to grasp its truth; and think we are above it because we have lost our perspective, thinking we are greater; but only because we are adulterated, soaked and expanded by superfluous ideas while religion and truth are condensed.
RESIGNED TO THE END—"I have lived my life of usefulness, and am resigned to the end…"
Then the most important period of your life is just beginning, so far as others are concerned. So it is up to you not to be discouraged, but to live on as an example of contentment for having done the best you could. You now represent an old oak tree where children may still gather to play in confidence of protecting arms to advise, to point out the path of life as a human milestone that has wintered many a storm: a credit to you for still living, and a hope to others to go on…
Live your age as a counsellor to be proud of. Show your years of experience so the young generation may avoid the pitfalls that left scars on your heart, thereby keeping alive your own hope; and for the young about you, respect and ambition.
RESTLESSNESS—"I am so restless that it’s beginning to ‘get’ me…"
Why?—if not just before your liberty, independence or freedom from prison as a seed within strong walls just before they break open. It is the symptom that you have much to live for, and only held down now so that you may grow, the better to fill the place you would not be capable of filling in your present condition.
REVENGE—"I’ll make him suffer for it, for every hour of suffering he has caused me…"
All well and good if you want to glorify your enemy; seek revenge, and all your vengeance will become his virtue. Seldom is revenge justified among men who think, for a deed worthy of revenge is punished by itself. Man’s revenge but diminishes the penalty and gives birth to a second penalty for the avenger, for taking the law into his own hands.
If you are justified in demanding justice, don’t take it into your own hands. Your body may be weaker than your enemy—each blow you strike against his strong, hard, rich body but leaves you a broken knuckle or wrist, or later a self-censuring reproach when you find how weak your enemy really was. Your smile of immunity and his chagrin surely are vengeance complete; while he splices a hangman’s noose for himself. The result shall not be upon your conscience. We are seldom sure of a just justice.
ROCK BOTTOM—"I’ve hit rock bottom…"
Well, if you are at the bottom, you at least have hope, and lots to wish for, much to choose from. Not so with the one who is on top. He can only have a fall, and start with you. So what? And if on a tight wire and in the middle, your balance beam is level, at least. You are not too high above the clouds (ostracized from the poor); neither too close to the damp earth of poverty. Have one side of your slate filled. If mistakes, the other side will correct them. And remember that after half of your journey, you will find more red than green lights. Youth seeks new worlds to conquer; age to improve the old. Youth for nests; age for limbs.
RUTS—"Oh what’s the use! I’m only in a rut. That’s why I’m a failure…"
Don’t be too sure you are a failure just because you think yourself in a rut. Do you know that a storm is as much in a rut as yesterday’s clouds in today’s river-bed? The longer the clouds exist, the deeper the river; still it reaches its destiny. It is the law of life. Your blood must remain in a rut or you will die. Your railroad tracks are a rut that holds its human flesh and blood. This, too, is the law.
But it is your own fault if you make yourself a prisoner by borrowing the rut of another. Your will should be consulted; and if not strong enough to direct your inclinations, analyze those inclinations, and see where you are off-balance; whether in the blood-stream of a pig, a tiger, or monkey instead of a man. So study your rut, then travel on. And keep your body well-balanced, as Nature intended, or your thoughts will be distorted accordingly.
SAINTS AND SINNERS—"No body believes me or trusts me now. Can I ever overcome this…?"
After you have once told a lie or stolen, you will have to tell 100 truths that sound doubtful and be tempted fifty times and not lose out, to make things right as they once were. It requires much water of virtue to wash out the stain of vice, but it can be done.
"I am a sinner…"
When you realize it, it is your virtue that tells you so. It is realization where God looks through one of your eyes to judge the vision of the other.
Even though you believe yourself to be a great sinner, be hopeful and courageous because of the fact that your activity of evil may be harnessed. It may be harnessed for good when you really know enough to feed it to maturity. Then like the thief on the cross you too shall be remembered in Eternity, as well as an example in mortality.
SERVANTS—"I am only a common servant…"
Granted; still you may be able to teach your employer something he has never, or might never, have known. That, at least, is your assurance for pride and self-respect, for you assist in his success, whether he admits it or not. The proof would be in your resignation, providing you are a good servant. Goodness has no superior when kindness walks and works hand and hand with justice.
SORROW—"I have had a sorrow that I cannot not forget…"
Then try to fill it with some past joy or future anticipation. Practice this a few times and see results, for all things are born in thought first, then crystallized. It’s worth the effort. And if you will analyze the birth of environments, you can solve the problem before it is born, as in breeding a black or white sheep; but if you wait until it is born, it is then too late to change it.
"I have had nothing but sorrow…"
Then rest assured of all that is coming to you, in exchange for that of which you think you have been robbed. There can be no low pressure or high without a storm to alter conditions. The great pendulum of activity swings eternally into the darkest night only to return into the brightest sunshine of the day.
You may doubt, because the pendulum, of you, swung slowly into the long night; but shall also swing that slowly through the bight day of joy. That load which is easy to start shall stop the sooner; but not so with the tremendous load that requires much energy to start, which absorbs more, and by its momentum refuses to stop quickly in its release of power absorbed. So measure, pro and con, and you will know (under the law of compensation), and order just what you have coming. Don’t you consult your books of figures to ascertain facts?
NO SORROW—"I must admit I have no sorrow to complain of."
Then seek it, even in the sincere sympathy of those who have no joy, and you will always be prepared to avoid that sorrow which otherwise would crush you to the earth.
SOUL---"Knowledge and consciousness are creations of the mind. There is no such thing as ‘soul’. When we are dead, we are dead…"
Why not apply this to a well-tuned piano? Does it play music, or does the hand and power of a musician awaken knowledge of "Home, Sweet Home" or a musical masterpiece? Man must first construct the instrument carefully, harmoniously, and have it in perfect tone to receive the printed notes by aid of human fingers and emotion. Then he who hears must be in tune by an understanding to interpret the music played. How like man as an instrument who also must be constructed to be in tune to manifest that which is sought, to express and understand it; and who is dead when not played upon by the will, like a piano stilled without a player. What is the difference, if not the immortality of music and rhythm?
SOUR-PUSS—"I wonder why people don’t like me…"
Look into a mirror occasionally and see if you like yourself. Then make an effort really to smile, noting the difference. That’s why people don’t like you. Man is the only creature on earth that can really smile: so use this gift to differentiate yourself form the animals and beasts.
SQUARE DEAL—"All I ask is a square deal…"
Do you expect to be treated squarely if you fail to do the same to others? If you do, your brain is lopsided, and you are only kidding yourself until a fool puts you wise.
STUDY—"I think my husband expects our children to study too hard. Does not brain-cramming do more harm than good?"
Yes, man’s reason often becomes blunt by over-study. Too much education is like a race-horse prancing himself tired just before a race. Brain-cramming has not only a mechanical effect upon the brain, but influences every thought, act or opinion according to the extent of the acquirements. Character never has been born by this means, where nothing is left to think what has been acquired, and where even application has been sacrificed, (powder behind the bullet). By brain-cramming one has sold all his ink for his paper, so his memory to record his acquirements appears just as blank as his paper without the ink of expression.
Of your husband, I would ask: What is best to give your son, a strong, healthy, clean body, and a moderate education until his real inborn faculties manifest themselves naturally, or to brain-cram him because you were denied it; and later he must unlearn all he has acquired at the loss of that natural flow of intelligence?
SUCCESS—"There must be a secret of success that I don’t know about…"
Man’s success depends upon what reflex habits he attains, and upon that of which his own world is composed. The secret of success is to liberate and harness forces; human, mechanical, natural—electricity, gas, steam, love, energy…
The process of liberation means power, freedom of action, character, association, personality. What have you to liberate? Have you ideals worthy of liberty? Do you seek association because you possess all the qualifications? A life of success must be composed of simplicity, strength and beauty, divided in three equal parts in all things. Beyond this you will deform, exaggerate, give birth to superstition, fanaticism, deceit, falsehoods, and artificial emotions.
He who wills success, let him successfully will. And learn—that temporary success is but a carrier servant to a coming Master. Permanent success comes from laboring under the principles of a true law.
"I am struggling to succeed…"
Then don’t allow the word "failure" to enter your mind. For it is always in the growing that we feel irritable. It is always in development that we feel impatient. It is always in the din of battle that we are the most cool, immune, and destructive.
Don’t let your memory of past failure or discord swerve you from your set purpose of possibilities still unborn. Forget it by remembering future possibilities. Think only of success, and not only will you feed it, but you will starve failure.
SUPERSENSITIVENESS—"I am supersensitive…"
Then don’t let your mind drift where it will. You would not allow your canoe this privilege drifting down a dangerous rapids. And what is more dangerous than a mind easily influenced in the rapids of the unknown masses? There may not be many dangerous hidden rocks. But only one suffices to prove fatal.
TEMPO—"I feel out of place, in the way and nervous…"
Do you know why? You are like a clock placed on the shelf of other clocks whose ticking goes faster than your own rhythm or ticking. Many against one. So you slow up more than the mechanism was built for. Hence out of tune, out of time, and out of the way. Just go on ticking the natural beats. It’s the hands of the clock that indicate the time, not the ticking of it.
TIRED OF LIFE—"I am tired of life and often in despair…"
Interest in life generates life. Adopt a pet and see within thirty days how you have eliminated despair. With new hope, anticipation and love are generated. Many a fatal lightning stroke has been averted by natural lightning rods; many a murderous knife thrust, by a smile of confidence; many a fatal doubt by a flicker of hope; and many a boresome life, by apparently silly hobbies which were, nevertheless, all lifesavers.
TIRED OUT—"I am tired out…"
Are you sure it’s not laziness, disinterest, or a gland dying for want of use, strength, or a substitute of will and ambition? Every man or woman has a reserve energy, a storage battery besides a generator. Why do you neglect this fact?
TROUBLES—"I’ve got so many troubles, I don’t know what to do…"
The fact that you have troubles should convince you that Nature thinks enough of you to plow and drag your ground of doubt and apprehension. For in your struggles, you awaken that activity that calls out all your reserve force to achieve, or to die by neglect or relaxation.
But don’t you know that many of your troubles and problems are not at all as they appear, but only as your mind exaggerates them by the additional recording of an ounce each day until it appears to weigh a ton: simply an over-exposure, and still receiving the same picture that may be under-exposed by your neighbor.
The trouble with most of us is that we get so close to the gun of our troubles that the loud report does more harm in fear, than the bullet itself.
Anyway, there is one sure remedy: Let the troubles of others burn out your own.
UNHAPPINESS—"I am not happy…"
Why not? Get hungry; cold; be alone; perspire; cool off; shed tears; laugh… Do that which you have not. Then observe what happiness, sorrow, warmth, smiles can really do to make you happy.
What is it to be happy and contented? Is it to look forward to something? To labor to put away for a rainy day that never comes? To hoard until there is enough for a cloudburst to drown your children?
If you are unhappy, then it is because you are inactive and because you do not think with what you possess to think with, to realize happy hours and that you are part of God.
VICE AND VIRTUE---"If I only knew the things I really shouldn’t do, I wouldn’t do them…"
What must I do—not what must I not do—is the question. The latter is the needle in the hay-stack. For there are countless things we should not do, and never will do. But to find out would consume a lifetime. What we should do can be done without seeking that needle. Why teach a virgin corruption she may never realize? Nor should we try to tempt her so she may know what it is to be tempted; nor teach our sons every oath known, so they may know what not to say! Why teach two longings that conflict, when one will be strong enough to exist, to understand, and to express only what we wish our sons to be? There are enough inherited vices running in our blood, without calling them from their grave by enumerating the things we shouldn’t do. Let them sleep, and they will forget their existence.
"I’d be ashamed to tell you what I used to be…"
Then you should be thankful for what you once were, that you have overcome, and of which only echoes still arise to remind you of your progress thus far.
WANTS—"I don’t believe it is true that one can have what he wants. I have looked everywhere for what I want, and failed to find it…."
Then look once again without your mind and see if you did not make a mistake in what you really wanted. See if you have not forgotten the fact that you had the very thing long ago that you really sought for.
WEALTH—"The only reason I want wealth is to be happy and make my family happy…"
Teach yourself to appreciate the little things in life, and you need not possess wealth to be happy. There are many things equal to gold, that become more permanent in their possession. There is no excuse for poverty devoid of contented happiness. There is as much joy in poverty if you SEEK it, as there is unhappiness in wealth. In poverty there is hope if not faith. But in wealth, hope is asleep. Faith is dormant because wealth deadens ambition unless it be used to create progress and charity...
YOUNG WIFE AND MOTHER—"My husband does not seem the same as he was when we were married…"
Are you the same? Or have you listened to gossips and those who did not sanction the match. Why not try to be sweet and temperate. Don’t put a flame out with gasoline. Don’t play with matches. He comes home tired. So are you. Go out for a four-mile walk when you are nervous. And when he comes home chase away his frown with a smile. Even if you fail after a dozen times, he will know that you mean it by then. It will be contagious. Don’t let others get their smiles in ahead of yours. Try it and see.
WIDOWS—"I am a widow, lonely and unhappy, and wonder why God should have willed it so..."
But did he? Or was it neglect of facts. Are we not often deprived of that which we but think we loved after it is gone, though not aware of it while with us? Can you say it is love, or only a personal duty assumed as a matter of fact. Why not analyze your heart, and see if it really is hungry for love and affection? And if so, put up a sign in your face, as a smile, and eyes that say "A heart for rent for life". Surely many are seeking sincere love even at sixty.
WILL-POWER— If you feel you have will-power, think again to be sure it isn’t wish-power only: intentions that are born dead.
YOUTH AND OLD AGE--"I am struggling against old age…"
Then bear in mind that it is but a "letting down", a "giving up", by which old age turns the aggressiveness of youth into fear. Our potentiality weakens, and in order to become old gracefully we must adapt ourselves logically. A mental stimulant is necessary to prevent early decay or old age, which is the unnecessary state of decrepitude resulting from a side-stepping of duty and responsibility.
You may doubt it, but did you not give way to your children’s will when they become of age? Did you still maintain your hold on the helm of your speeding ship? Did you obey the selfish or unselfish whims or motives of your children and friends, against your own best judgment? At each resignation your personal responsibility (youth and life) became weaker, for lack of growth and expression, until at last instead of growing up and out, you grew in and down—into your grave.
See our great men today, over sixty, who are still growing. And why? It answers itself without a question, because it is. Nothing can conquer death more quickly than to deny it completely. For death is only death when you fear it, or become its pupil, with your back to the sunlight, following but the shadow you seek, which is but a deformed effect of yourself, just as death is the shadow, only, of Life.
One becomes old, to realize it, only when he takes no interest in anything new to him. He lives in the past only, not even in the living present; let alone Tomorrow, expectant, unborn, whose parents he might have been, with a father’s or mother’s personal responsibility, new joy and youth.
Even though the body may be old, the mind need never be. "Old Age" is but a state of mind.
"I want only to feel assured of a contented life in my declining years. For that I am laboring now…"
Then realize Youth from every angle, so you may replace that which you must sacrifice at old age. Bring up children, or even a friend that may substitute, using your counsel on their shoulders, for the profit and enjoyment of all concerned, allowing Youth to protect your possessions instead of depriving you of those wages you may not be able to hold.
"The best part of my life is over…"
That isn’t true, unless you make it so yourself. With age comes mellowness, and our ideals shape into form. Whatever we may be is but the accumulation of what has been—through the past tree-trunk of our genealogy. But what shall flow through our veins remains with us, according to what we wish our fruit to be.
From one to seven we are but babies. From seven to fourteen one may be protected by his purity and innocence. From fourteen to twenty-one the creative organs make themselves manifest according to the strength of our imagination and vitality, even involuntarily: a law which Nature enforces, in order to populate its domain. When we have obeyed this law, then what we call material love has hewn out of our flesh and blood our own image. We have then brought up our children. The creative flower of the human species has blossomed. It has created seeds that will give forth seeds.
Having carried out the law, its petals slowly drop, and the change of life has been completed. Then man and woman begin to realize for the first time why they exist. For the blood does not carry with it the serum or influence of the material creative power, but only the pure spiritual motives. At this age, man is either a mental image of God, or a fool.
It is only at this period, the youth of old age, that our mind becomes more intense, our blood more cool, our hearts more sincere, our imagination more clear and pure—our greatest work but begun, because the branches and lower limbs of our make-up are too far above the ground to be reached, and the fruit stolen.
The same law holds good with man, as with woman. He too passes through the same epoch, somewhat more modified. And because of this fact he becomes more irritable, imagines he is becoming old, and displays many other symptoms which he tries to conceal. But a little later he becomes more patient, hopeful and serene, because he too, with his companion, has at last reached the quiet waters of that haven of rest for which he has striven with all his impulsive nature since his boyhood days.
During this process we all have fears and misgivings, all of them being the symptoms of Nature’s spontaneous amputation of its creative forces, which often become aggravated in symptoms due to our ignorance of that law.
So the best part of your life is never over: it comes at the end. When you were eighteen and realized the age of your thirty year old friend, you wondered how you would feel at that age. Then how it would seem at forty-five, with apprehension. Now perhaps you have passed fifty, and have not yet sensed that "terrible" dread. Only your friends of seventy seem to sort of "get you" still. When age does come, like death itself, you do not realize it, because it is natural and normal. Battles are bloodiest far from the battle-field. Death is most cold when far away. But when it knocks at one’s door, it seems like a shadow only, tender and sweet, as you shall see…