Its on this day so long ago l began following God l was in the care industry oh yes l had been learning about God for many years and had learned to read the bible of course 💥 but it was this day l left my job, income and resigned as l could do no more – or so l thought
I walked out of the door of the care home and down the road and did not know Why ? that’s right people l did not know Why ? God did as l was to find out many years later and l went home and sat on the sofa and waited in silence 💥
For the next two days l cleaned the flat l lived in scrubbing every single area of it until it was like a new pin – I mean cleanliness is next to Godliness and then l stopped and sat down and waited in silence 💥
Next day l went down the road walking and talking to God in me – oh not like a voice you recognise but silent inside and having stopped as it was a hot day sat on a wall – an elderly woman was tending her garden and struggling l said big garden takes a long time – oh yes she said not as young as l was either hard work – Why do you want to do it she asked – l will help if l can Ok she said l will get us both a cool drink 💥
For the next three days l did all of the back garden and mowed the front lawn and it looked wonderful and after finishing she said here and paid me some money – l tried to refuse but she said please take it make me feel better – so l did and went home 💥
You guessed it sat on the sofa in silence and then the next day started writing pages and pages of all the knowledge l had inside me and all that l did not know but must have learned it took two days and 800 – pages later stopped put into a folder and wrote ‘ Genesis ‘ on the cover and put it away 💥
It was on that day a council bill arrived and l opened it and then looked at the money l was paid for gardening and it was not enough so l sat in silence and waited and then went outside and met a woman tending her hanging baskets and we talked about her job as the person in charged and she was being let down by the maintenance people and l said can help and for the next two days l did the lawns and there were many and some work on painting and tidying and painted a fence and a number of other jobs said at the end – How much l did not know what to say – l waited a second in silence and said hows X amount she said no l will pay you Y we agreed 💥
I went home and sat on the sofa in silence and then next day went out into town and back now as a visitor and met some of the people l had cared for and just chatted and was given a meal – while there l went to the garage to find a wheelchair and saw some old computers and asked are they anyones and was told they were rubbish and would go in the skip when it arrived – l asked can l take one and took all that was needed including cables and keyboard and went home and sat on the sofa 💥
Next day l started learning to write now on a computer once l had learned how to make it work and set it up for the next 7 days l wrote and did some more jobs and more jobs in between then does anyone remember ‘ dial up ‘ l connected the computer to the internet and began surfing the web – strange l thought it was like having a ‘ surf board ‘ but LOL 😂 it was much much more and l was gaining more knowledge 💥
The moral of this story is first it happened to me and by the end of that month l had sufficient to pay the Council’s bill and also l had began to learn more knowledge and follow God not my own self and as days progressed l would learn more and more and will write soon
Yesterday I met an elderly person in my society. People call him Sanju Kaka. A few days back he was celebrating his 79th birthday by distributing chocolates. He is a jolly person and always seen sitting outside either alone or gossiping with any sundry person. When asked, he explained, “My wife is no more, and […]
In a hurry, the package, clear instructions, it has to be given to someone, no one else, he listens to the instructions again, finally he says okay, off. Only a gift, why the hassle he thinks, i will leave it there, they will give it to him, his thoughts a flurry of snowballs, people pass […]
After his first marriage fell apart in the 1960s, the songwriter Johnny Cash moved from Southern California to Tennessee. On the first night in his new home, lonely and depressed, he began to pace the length of the ground floor. It was an enormous house, all but empty of furniture, wedged between a steep hill on one side and Old Hickory Lake on the other.
As he walked from one end of the floor to the other, from the hill to the lake, he began to feel, almost frantically, that something was absent. What’s missing? he thought. Where is it? he repeated, over and over again. Had he forgotten to pack something? Was there something he needed to do? What wasn’t right? Suddenly, it came to him. It wasn’t something, it was someone.
His young daughter, Rosanne. She wasn’t there. She was in California with her mother. A house without a family is no home. Johnny Cash stopped, began to shout her name as loud as he could, and fell to the ground and wept. In some sense, it might seem like that is exactly the kind of anguish that philosophy helps us avoid through the cultivation of detachment and indifference to other people. If you don’t make yourself dependent on anyone, if you don’t make yourself vulnerable, you can never lose them and you’ll never be hurt. Some people try this way. They take vows of chastity or solitude, or, conversely, try to reduce relationships to their most transactional or minimal form.
Or because they have been hurt before, they put up walls. Or because they are so talented, they dedicate themselves exclusively to their work. It is necessary, they say, for they have a higher calling.
The Buddha, for instance, walked out on his wife and young son without even saying goodbye, because enlightenment was more important.
Yes, every individual should make the life choices that are right for them. Still, there is something deeply misguided—and sad—about a solitary existence.
Once upon a time, there was a woman in her mid-sixties who noticed that she had lived her entire life in the same small town. And although she had spent decades enthusiastically dreaming about traveling and seeing the world, she had never taken a single step to make this dream a reality.
Finally, she woke up on the sunrise of her 65th birthday and decided that now was the time! She sold all of her possessions except for some essential items she needed, packed these items into a backpack, and began her journey out into the world. The first several days on the road were amazing and filled with awe – with every step forward she felt like she was finally living the life she had dreamed of.
Nevertheless, a few short weeks later, the days on the road started taking a toll on her. She felt misplaced and she missed the familiar comforts of her old life. As her feet and legs grew sorer and sorer with each new step, her mood also took a turn for the worse.
Eventually, she stopped walking, took off her backpack, slammed it on the ground, and sat down beside it as tears began streaming down her cheeks. She stared hopelessly down a long winding road that once led to an amazing world but now seemed to lead only to discomfort and unhappiness. “I have nothing! I have nothing left in my life!” she shouted out loud at the top of her lungs.
Coincidentally, a renowned guru and life adviser from a nearby village was resting quietly behind a pine tree adjacent to where the woman was sitting. When the woman began shouting, the guru heard every word and he felt it was his duty to help her. Without thinking twice he jumped out from behind the pine tree, grabbed her backpack, and ran into the forest that lined both sides of the road. Stunned and in complete disbelief, the woman started crying even harder than before, to the point of near breathlessness.
“That backpack was all I had,” she cried.” And now it’s gone! Now everything is gone in my life!”
After about ten minutes of much-needed tears, the woman gradually collected her emotions, stood up again, and began staggering slowly down the road. Meanwhile, the guru cut through the forest and secretly placed the backpack in the middle of the road just a short distance ahead of the woman.
When the woman’s teary eyes fell upon the backpack, she almost couldn’t believe what she was seeing – everything she thought she had just lost was once again right in front of her. She couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear. “Oh, thank heavens!” the woman exclaimed. “I am so grateful! Now I definitely have what I need to continue onward…”
The reality of time never changes; but the perception of time does change. Gradually, as the mind processes the experiences of living in the world, an emotional body of past is formed. When emotional attachments to past experience are discarded, an individual moves that much closer to the optimum point of the present; this is registered as a broadening of the perception and clarity of mind. This can happen naturally whenever immersed in a creative activity, and time can seem to fly. The opposite happens when bored or fed up; time then slows to a crawl and living becomes a trudge in time.
The perception of time is recognized by many people as being different as a child to that of an adult. In a young child, the concept of time has yet to be formulated in a way that happens with the experience of the years of living. Because there’s no sense of any beginning or end as a defining line, there are no conclusions in the child’s mind. Life simply unfolds as whatever is presented to the senses. Young children exist mostly as beings of the present and respond to life with spontaneity and freedom that only becomes stifled as they become self-conscious of themselves and the emotional reaction of others. It’s to have the experience of an adult but also the spontaneity and freedom that children express – hence the saying, ‘to be innocent is to be like a little child again.
As someone matures, the progression of life, together with the anticipatory emotional energy to events, anniversaries, and everyday affairs such as a favorite meal or TV program, generates a speeding up of the time frame between sequences of existence. But this is merely an artificially induced effect of time speeding up. When we go to sleep and enter the dream state, there’s a natural shift to a swifter time gradient. Freed of the cumbersome physical form, the conservation of energy enables things to happen much more quickly and with far greater freedom of movement. The next level is deep dreamless sleep, where we are never more content. At this level of mind, we are as close to the present as is possible until the death of the physical form. Sometimes on waking up, for a split second, we are conscious of the appearance of the room without any reference to the past. Only what is being perceived is real in the immediacy of the moment; this is similar to the perception of the child and the realized state of consciousness.
Delving deeper into the nature of time and the living process, we can observe that in the mature adult there’s usually a natural slowing down of the busyness that was characteristic of the drive of youth into the world of experience. As someone approaches death an older age they are energetically preparing for the death process, although mostly at an unconscious level of mind. As the life essence gradually withdraws deeper into the abstract levels of the psyche, the comprehension of time speeds up; and the person willingly, and with a deepening knowledge of peace, surrenders the burden of the world.
Circumstances are thought made. Change your thought and you will change your condition. To agonize and struggle in a bad condition is like struggling in quicksand, you get in deeper. Tell you’re bad conditions to another and you multiply them. If the heavens are falling and the earth is slipping under your feet, grab a big Turkish towel, walk briskly into the supreme sanctuary of the body,—the bathroom, take a thorough salt-water bath, with a few drops of perfume in it to awaken your self-respect. Then in a quiet, darkened room take a good sleep of ten to fifteen hours. Then rise and eat slowly, quietly, and happily some nourishing food. God, Himself, could do nothing with Elijah until He had given him a long sleep and a good meal. Then Elijah went forth and crowned a King, appointed a Prophet, established a Kingdom, and rode Home in chariots of fire. Once you make a start, the world is at your command. Let go of the past. Stop the foolish thinking that conditions hold you, it is you holding onto conditions. Quit your self-pity, blaming others, and saying you are the victim of circumstances. Stop whining, and begin singing, then will your feet be loosed from the stocks and the iron gates open outward before you. Look away from yourself.
IS YOUR WILL ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL? Awake it. See if you are sailing, or drifting. Set the compass of your Mind to new thoughts, fresh purposes, selfless desires, fill your sails with boundless hope, and let your daily voyage spell SERVICE in a big way. You are not a chip on the River of Life, you are a Supreme Master in a Universe of Facts. You think you are stuck in the harbor mud, but it is only that the tide is out. Command your Will to put up the sails, God will send you wind and tide to bear you out of the stale, sordid mental and bodily conditions you are living in, give you wider horizon, and a limitless ocean of experience. If anybody does not wish to sail with you, leave them on the shore. Let go of your past, break away from conditions that hold you in slavery. Seek new scenery, form new surroundings, begin a new Supreme Life.
KEEP YOUR BODY SUPREME: Go back to Nature; be a fine animal. Get into the sunshine, the silent woods, the open fields. Magnetize your body by walking thru the dew barefooted, by sleeping on the grass, or half-buried in the sand. Tuberculosis, rheumatism, insomnia are unknown to wild animals. Our bodies are sick and weak because we have denatured ourselves. Make friends with the wild animals, they will teach you how to keep well. They have not a single case of nervous prostration in all their vast forest home. Learn to relax. Drop your tension and you check confusion. Stop a few minutes sometime in the day and quiet your nerves, rest your muscles, calm your senses, soothe your thoughts, somewhere in the sunshine, or under the shade of an old apple tree. Eat simply, slowly, nuts, dates, cereals, fruits. Drink abundantly of water between meals. Dress less somber, study your appearance, give it harmony. Keep your body well-groomed. A bath and haircut will change the out-look of life. Quit habits that weaken the body. Never talk about your bodily weakness, illness, or condition, nor listen to those of others. Criticize your body and it will fail you. Praise your body and it will serve you. Take air-baths, cold water plunges, or cold water sponges, every morning. Fix your mind upon having a sound and energized body and you will attract it. Exercise, walk, run, play, work, and learn to rest. Change your habits of living. Cut out the grouch. Stop nagging. You’re sour because your pores are stopped up; get a buck-saw and take a sweat. You’re morbidly blue because your solar plexus has gone to sleep; give it half an hour of internal vibration. Don’t knock the weather, like it, get into it, let it put iron into your blood. Plunge into a storm, it will act as a tonic on your spirit. A dip in the ocean will add magnetism to your body. Your body is a mighty fine engine of marvelous energy. Over-fed, under-fed, over-burdened, neglected, abused, weakened, shamefully talked about, yet year after year it goes on generating the most divine thing in the universe—Life. It transmutes profane elements into divine energy, washes a river of blood free of tons of poison, supports a brain that builds and rules limitless empires, sustains a vision that dissolves darkness into light, the unknown into the known, upholds the image of, and is “the Temple of the Living God.” Your body is Supreme. Keep it divine. Strip your body bare and lie in the sunshine. Let it soak deeply into the tissue, it will magnetize your body, and renew it with youth. Seize these sunbaths every sunny day possible by lying on a couch before a large window, or even better, out in the open air. If you want a magnetic body that is supple, elastic, and youthful give it sun-baths and air-baths daily.
KEEP YOUR MIND SUPREME: Your mind is limitless. You were born to lead, not to be always led. Think for yourself. Do your own planning. Make new plans. Train your mind to think alone. Misery is rust on a mind that has stopped working. Train your mind to delight people. Don’t follow the crowd, but step softly among human hearts. Train your mind to think big. Expand your mind until it encircles the universe. Stop fussing over little things, over useless people, and fill your mind with new ideals and fresh purpose. Stop wailing over flowers that will never blossom on the north side of your house; go around to the south side and make a new garden. You have a temperament that is likely to be misunderstood; that’s fine. So did Sarvonarola, Columbus, Galileo, Luther, Whitfield, Emerson, Lincoln and Christ. “Seven cities fought for Homer, dead, thru whose streets the living Homer begged his bread.” The reputation of Christ was just the opposite of His character. These, stood thinking their brave thoughts on the horizon where Truth asks you to stand. You are better than you think; or as good. You are the sum total of your thinking. Build thought palaces, not mud huts. Create, originate, produce new ideas. Beware of dead monotony, it kills the brain. Unfetter your thoughts from notions, prejudices and limitations. Think well of yourself, think well of what you have, think well of what you do, think invincibly, think persistently, think with unflinching resolve. Concentration is getting at a thing, thinking it, planning it, preparing for it, working on it, DOING IT. Your conditions, mental, physical, financial, are thought made; fill your mind with different thoughts and you will have different conditions. Thought gathers around you the things you want, when you stop thinking of them they pass away. Thoughts are seeds, they produce after their kind. A little thought will shake off useless conditions and confused environment. Think some fun into your daily events. Don’t be over-serious; it breeds disease germs, just as anger and hate thoughts induce cancer, tumor and liver troubles. Start a hurricane of jollity. Break loose in a thunderstorm of mirth, it will clear the atmosphere under a roof, just as a thunderstorm clears the air over the roof. On the other hand “there is a season to weep.” Never smother your emotion, to choke it back stifles the heart. Lift the flood-gates and let your tears water the garden of your heart. “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” That is the life. Be renewed every morning, for each day is a new life, a fresh world, the beginning of eternity. Think your thought created enemies into thought created friends. Think your thought created suspicions, into thought created confidences. Thought has drawn you into your conditions, it will pull you out. Your Soul, your Mind, your Body cannot become ugly, useless, imprisoned so long as you think supreme harmony, dominion, and love. Thought makes your body a hovel, your mind a madhouse, or thought makes your body a temple and your mind a shrine where angels commune with you. Environment, conditions, circumstances are not your masters, they are materials out of which thought makes the beautiful mosaics of character. Light the candle of a new thought and diligently sweep every corner of your mind, and you shall find the rare treasure—happiness. Put fun into your thinking. Do not take yourself so serious, put the red blood of mirth into your daily thinking.
CONSERVE YOUR WILL SUPREME: Your will is divine energy, therefore it is a Supreme Power. Christ said: “Be it unto thee even as thou WILLED.” It is inertia that suffers. Fate, Fear, and Doubt are children of the imagination. The power of the will dissolves them into the mist. Will power into your Being. Will power into your work. Will power into your ambitions. Will power into your expressions. Will power into your words. And you shall be “a fellow workman with God, a master builder that needeth not to be ashamed.” Your Will gives infinite clearness, infinite strength, infinite ideals, infinite aspirations, for infinite realities. Your Will tells you that if there is anything today that seems to you too good to be true, believe it, endeavor toward it, reach forth to receive it, and tomorrow it will be true. Will is the engine in the depths of the ship that drives it thru the buffeting waves and storm to the distant harbor. Will puts your back-bone where your wish-bone is now. Will puts iron into your blood, tightens up your vertebrate, and makes you “a self-starter.” You may have lost your battle, your Will stands ready for another better campaign. You miss an opportunity, your Will stands ready to open the door to a hundred new ones. Delay is the mother of most failures. One thing worse than “a quitter,” is the person afraid to begin. Your Will gives purpose and makes you stick to it. Get grit for a new siege. Will makes desire. Will makes brains. Will give a decision. To decide means “to cut”; cut deep into the world of possibilities, cut out of your prison of difficulties, cut thru your jungle of opposition to liberty, to health, to success, to supreme power. THINK, PLAN, DO IT. Will heals disease. Will drives poisons out of the system. Will makes the body immune. Will illumines the brain with brilliant perception. Will sweeps misfortunes aside and rebuilds a nobler success. Julius Caesar trained his supreme will until it became the dominion of the Roman Empire. The goddess Diana said of Hercules: “When I saw him, whether he sat or stood, I knew he was a god, so majestic is his will.” Like the magnetic mountain in the “Arabian Nights,” your Will can draw the nails from your enemies’ ships, so they shall fall to pieces before they reach your shores. Will is dynamic, cosmic energy from whence eternal things proceed, and immortal organisms are constructed. Will is the glory of the Divine universe, and you are a part of that Will. In your, Will sleep the oracles of prophecy. You were made master over this world. In your, Will is enthroned Sovereignty, Dominion, Kingship. With the force of Will, Pygmalion carved his soul dream into the marble until its loveliness of form and grace became so real as to take on life and motion. With the force of Will, Dante created his Hell, and with the force of Will, Milton created his Paradise Regained. Put your Will into command. Start new. Realize that you are Supreme. Get a mental picture of what you want, what you want to be, what you want to do, THEN ACTUALIZE IT. Get above doubts. Do not wait to be well, to be happy, to be rich, all of these will be added unto you. Climb out of your prison of doubts, worries, fears. Begin where you are. Let your Will create, even as God creates. “He that believeth shall not perish, shall not abide in darkness, shall have the light of life, shall have everlasting life; all things are possible to him that believeth.” Come down out of the gallery of supine hero worshippers, get into the arena and be the hero. Quit the drivel of matinee idol longing, and get onto the stage of life and get the bouquets for yourself. The world is waiting to ring up the curtain for your star part in life.
YOU CAN WORK MIRACLES: A miracle is a wonder, a marvel, a supernatural occurrence, a result obtained by suspension of natural processes. You can do that any day. The miracle is that so few do it.
You know Ibsen’s play, “The Doll House.” How the wife forged a note, raised the money to send her husband to regain his health. How he did regain it, returned to great prominence and wealth as a banker. Then the blackmailer threatened to reveal the crime. How the husband rushed to his wife in anger that she should have done such a thing, that it meant ruin to him in his high position. How the wife replied: “Why I expected the miracle. That you would save me as I saved you. That you would say that you did it.” If he only had, what a marvelous, what a wonderful, what a supernatural thing it would have been. Christ made whole and useful a withered hand. People say, “O, that I could do so wonderful a thing.” Well, why don’t you? See the withered hands around you. A young woman with a beautiful voice, but no means to cultivate it. Do you have a thousand or so in the bank? You can save that voice to a world that needs a song. A young man with a fine mind, helpless to go thru college, you have the means to give that mind to a world in power and usefulness. The natural thing is for you not to do it, the supernatural, the miracle, is that you are divine enough to do it. A man, a woman, is forsaken, friendless, cruelly judged by the world, their goodness blasted, their spirit crushed, their hearts bleeding, their lives made useless, withered. The natural thing is to avoid such, stand aloof, be quite scornfully indifferent. The miracle would happen if you went to them, lifted them, restored them to society. I have said avoid useless people, I mean selfish, lazy, purposeless, aimless people. Sir Humphrey Davy worked a miracle when he took the boy Farraday out of a stable loft and gave him a chance to cultivate his genius. The Sistine Chapel is Angelo’s miracle. When the band on the deck of the Titanic, under the pale light of the morning stars played “Nearer My God To Thee,” to give hope and strength to men and women struggling to be saved, each player, as the voice of his melody was forever hushed behind the shining emerald gates, in the crystal tomb of the sea, went down crowned with the glory of a selfless miracle. The natural thing would have been for them to have frantically fought to save themselves. What superb opportunities to work miracles have passed you! What magnificent possibilities are still right before you! The cripple is always at your Gate Beautiful. Are you divine enough, wonderful enough, marvelous enough, supernatural enough to say: “Such as I HAVE, GIVE I unto thee”? Do it quickly. Do it, and you shall know daily the joy of hearing the Father say: “This is My Son in whom I am well pleased.”
If there is any one person on this earth to whom I take off my hat and wait until they safely pass, it is a school teacher. The most obscure teacher, back in the country hills, unknown, unthought of, unpraised, but with loving patience unfolding the secrets of knowledge to little frowzy-headed boys and girls, can look into her mirror at the evening and behold the face of an angel.
Flowers cast their wealth upon the vacant air, and rich fathers oft cast their wealth upon the vacant heir.
Some people are so sensitive that if you call them “Honey,” they will break out with the “hives” the next morning.
Do not divorce your husband because he has cold feet, perhaps he got them since you were married.
Christ stopped every funeral that came his way and sent the mourners home singing. Funeral sermons were too sad for Him to preach. Every sick room He entered became a health resort. He made grave-yards unpopular.
Many a lonely bachelor looking back over the stretch of years, recalls the charming moonlight nights, when the cool summer air was perfumed with old fashioned flowers, and he looked into the loving eyes of his sweetheart; recalls how the crimson glow of youth flushed her velvet cheeks as he took her warm hand in his; recalls sadly that if he had only given that hand “a square deal,” played it in the game of life, he would have had “a full house” now.
Would you like to become young? Then tap new reservoirs of youthful thoughts, irrigate your alkali desert from the fountains of youth, become youthfully active in some new field of work. Vanderbilt added $100,000,000 to his fortune after he was eighty. Wordsworth earned the Laureateship at seventy-three. Theirs established the French Republic and became its first president at seventy-two. Verdi wrote “Falstaff” at eighty. Sir Walter Scott was $600,000 in debt when he was fifty-five, but thru his own efforts he paid all and made himself a lasting name.
Book knowledge is not all. A wealthy, fond father, fearing his son would be contaminated by college life, had him educated at home. When he was twenty-one, he took him to ride thru the streets of the city. They passed a female seminary just as the doors opened and a crowd of young women came out. The dear boy grabbed his father’s arm and cried, “What are those?” His father replied, “They are only goslings.” Later in the day, the fond father said: “My son, you have obeyed me, have faithfully completed your education, now I am ready to spend $50,000 to give you the highest ambition of your life.” The boy looked up in glad wonder and said: “O, dad, give me a Goslin.”
The young are often accused of being thoughtless, rash, and unwilling to be advised.
That the former of these charges is in a great measure just, is not denied. Indeed, what else could be expected? They are thoughtless, for they are yet almost strangers to the world, and its cares and perplexities. They are forward, and sometimes rash; but this generally arises from that buoyancy of spirits, which health and vigor impart. True, it is to be corrected, let the cause be what it may, but we shall correct with more caution, and probably with greater success when we understand its origin.
That youth are unwilling to be advised, as a general rule, appears to me untrue. At least I have not found it so. When the feeling does exist, I believe it often arises from parental mismanagement, or from an unfortunate method of advising.
The infant seeks to grasp the burning lamp;—the parent endeavors to dissuade him from it. At length, he grasps it and suffers the consequences. Finally, however, if the parent manages him properly, he learns to follow his advice, and obey his indications, to avoid pain. Such, at least, is the natural result of rational management. And the habit of seeking parental counsel, once formed, is not easily eradicated. Temptation and forgetfulness may indeed lead some of the young occasionally to grasp the lamp, even after they are told better; but the consequent suffering generally restores them to their reason. It is only when the parent neglects or refuses to give advice, and for a long time manifests little or no sympathy with his child, that the habit of filial reliance and confidence is destroyed. There are very few children indeed, however improperly managed, who do not in early life acquire a degree of this confiding, inquiring, counsel-seeking disposition.
Most persons, as they grow old, ignore that they have ever been young themselves. This greatly disqualifies them for social enjoyment. It was wisely said; ‘He who would pass the latter part of his life with honor and decency, must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old, and when he is old, remember that he has once been young.’ But if forgetfulness on this point disqualifies a person for self-enjoyment, how much more for that which is social?
Still more does it disqualify us for giving advice? While a lad, I was at play, one day, with my mates, when two gentlemen observing us, one of them said to the other; ‘Do you think you ever acted as foolishly as those boys do?’ ‘Why yes; I suppose I did;’ was the reply. ‘Well,’ said the other, ‘I never did;—I know I never did.’
Both of these persons have the name of parent, but he who could not believe he had ever acted like a child himself, is greatly destitute of the proper parental spirit. He never—or scarcely ever—puts himself to the slightest inconvenience to promote, directly, the happiness of the young, even for half an hour.
He supposes every child ought to be grave, like himself. If he sees the young engaged in any of those exercises which are adapted to their years, he regards it as an entire loss of time, besides being foolish and unreasonable. He would have them at work, or their studies. Whereas there is scarcely anything that should give a parent more pleasure than to see his children, in their earliest years, enjoying that flow of spirits, which leads them forth to active, vigorous, blood-stirring sports.
Of all persons living, he who does not remember that he has once been young is the most completely disqualified for giving youthful counsel. He obtrudes his advice occasionally, when the youth is already under temptation, and borne along with the force of a vicious current; but because he disregards it, he gives him up as heedless, perhaps as obstinate. If advice is afterward asked, his manners are cold and repulsive. Or perhaps he frowns him away, telling him he never follows his advice, and therefore it is useless to give it. So common is it to treat the young with a measure of this species of roughness, that I cannot wonder the maxim has obtained that the young, generally, ‘despise counsel.’ And yet, I am fully convinced, no maxim is farther from the truth.
When we come to the very close of life, we cannot transfer, in a single moment, that knowledge of the world and of human nature which an experience of 70 years has afforded us. If therefore, from any cause whatever, we have not already dealt it out to those around us, it is likely to be lost;—and lost forever. Now is it not a pity that what the young would regard as an invaluable treasure, could they come at it in such a manner, and at such seasons, as would be agreeable to them, and that, too, which the old are naturally so fond of distributing, should be buried with their bodies?
Let me counsel the young, then, to do everything they can, consistently with the rules of good breeding, to draw forth from the old the treasures of which I have been speaking. Let them even make some sacrifice of that buoyant feeling which, at their age, is so apt to predominate. Let them conform, for the time, in some measure, to the gravity of the aged, to gain their favor, and secure their friendship and confidence. I do not ask them wholly to forsake society, or their youthful pastimes for this purpose, or to become grave habitually; for this would be requiring too much. But there are moments when old people, however, disgusted they may be with the young, do so far unbend themselves as to enter into cheerful and instructive conversation. I can truly say that when a boy, some of my happiest hours were spent in the society of the aged—those too, who were not always what they should have been. The old live in the past, as truly as the young do in the future. Nothing more delights them than to relate stories of ‘olden time,’ especially when they were the heroes. But they will not relate to them unless there is somebody to hear. Let the young avail themselves of this propensity, and make the most of it. Some may have been heroes in war; some in traveling the country; others in hunting, fishing, agriculture, or the mechanic arts; and it may be that here and there one will boast of his skill, and relate stories of his success in that noblest of arts and employments—the making of his fellow-creatures wise, and good, and happy.
In conversation with all these persons, you will doubtless hear much that is uninteresting. But where will you find anything pure or perfect below the sun? The richest ores contain dross. At the same time, you cannot fail, unless the fault is your own, to learn many valuable things from them all. From war stories, you will learn history; from accounts of travels, geography, human character, manners, and customs; and from stories of the good or ill-treatment which may have been experienced, you will learn how to secure the one, and avoid the other. From one person you will learn one thing; from another something else. Put these shreds together, and in time you will form quite a several pages in the great book of human nature. You may thus, in a certain sense, live several lives in one.
One thing more is to be remembered. The more you have, the more you are bound to give. Common sense, as well as the Scripture, says, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Remember that as you advance in years you are bound to avoid falling into the very errors which, ‘out of your mouth’ you have ‘condemned’ in those who have gone before you; and to make yourselves as acceptable as you can to the young, to secure their confidence, and impart to them, little by little, those accumulated treasures of experience which you have acquired in going through life, but which must otherwise, to a very great extent, be buried with you in your graves.
But, my young friends, there is one method besides conversation, in which you may come at the wisdom of the aged; and that is through the medium of books. Many old persons have written well, and you cannot do better than to avail yourselves of their instructions. This method has even one advantage over conversation. In the perusal of a book, you are not so often prejudiced or disgusted by the repulsive and perhaps chilling manner of him who wrote it, as you might have been from his conversation and company.