American Editor, Lecturer and Essayist
William George Jordan
American Editor, Lecturer and Essayist
Our highest hopes, are often destroyed to prepare us for better things. The failure of the caterpillar is the birth of the butterfly; the passing of the bud is the becoming of the rose; the death or destruction of the seed is the prelude to its resurrection as wheat. It is at night, in the darkest hours, those preceding dawn, that plants grow best, that they most increase in size. May this not be one of Nature's gentle showings to man of the times when he grows best, of the darkness of failure that is evolving into the sunlight of success. Let us fear only the failure of not living the right as we see it, leaving the results to the guardianship of the Infinite.
There are more people on this great, big, rolling earth hungering for sweetness, tenderness, and words of gentle appreciation, genial confidence and generous affection than are starving for bread.
Worry is the traitor in our camp that dampens our powder and weakens our aim.
Life is not a competition with others. In its truest sense it is a rivalry with ourselves. We should each day seek to break the record of our yesterday. We should seek each day to live stronger, better, truer lives; each day to master some weakness of yesterday; each day to repair past follies; each day to surpass...ourselves. And this is but progress.
Profuse expressions of gratitude do not cancel an indebtedness any more than a promissory note settles an account. It is a beginning, not a finality. Gratitude that is extravagant in words is usually economical in all other expression.
There is a royal road to happiness; it lies in Consecration, Concentration, Conquest and Conscience.
Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it.
Reputation is the shell a man discards when he leaves life for immortality. His character he takes with him.
Those who wisely live within an income rarely have to face the problem of trying to live without one.
Life is not something to be lived through: it is something to be lived up to. It is a privilege, not a penal servitude of so many decades on earth.
Reputation is what the world thinks a man is; character is what he really is ? Reputation is the shell a man discards when he leaves life for immortality. His character he takes with him.
To us all, comes, at times, the great note of questioning despair that darkens our horizon and paralyzes our effort: "If there really be a God, if eternal justice really rule the world," we say, "why should life be as it is? Why do some men starve while others feast; why does virtue often languish in the shadow while vice triumphs in the sunshine; why does failure so often dog the footsteps of honest effort, while the success that comes from trickery and dishonor is greeted with the world's applause? How is it that the loving father of one family is taken by death, while the worthless encumbrance of another is spared? Why is there so much unnecessary pain, sorrowing and suffering in the world, ? -why, indeed, should there be any?"
Hurry, the scourge of America.
Love can transmute all duties into privileges, all responsibilities into joys.
Satisfaction is perfect identity of our desires and our possessions. It exists only so long as this perfect union and unity can be preserved. But every realized ideal gives birth to new ideals, every step in advance reveals large domains of the unattained; every feeding stimulates new appetites, ? then the desires and possessions are no longer identical, no longer equal; new cravings call forth new activities, the equipoise is destroyed, and dissatisfaction reenters. Man might possess everything tangible in the world and yet not be happy, for happiness is the satisfying of the soul, not of the mind or the body. Dissatisfaction, in its highest sense, is the keynote of all advance, the evidence of new aspirations, the guarantee of the progressive revelation of new possibilities.
Tolerance makes the individual regard truth as higher than personal opinion; it teaches him to live with the windows of his life open towards the east to catch the first rays of the sunlight of truth no matter from whom it comes, and to realize that the faith that he so harshly condemns may have the truth he desires if he would only look into it and test it before he repudiates it so cavalierly
I am a great human soul with marvelous possibilities!
Love, in the divine alchemy of life, transmutes all duties into privileges, all responsibilities into joys.
Self-confidence without self-reliance is as useless as a cooking recipe without food. Self-confidence sees the possibilities of the individual; self-reliance realizes them. Self-confidence sees the angel in the unhewn block of marble; self-reliance carves it out for oneself.
True charity is not typified by an alms box. The benevolence of a checkbook does not meet all the wants of humanity. Giving food, clothing, and money to the poor is only the beginning, the kindergarten class, of real charity.
If a man honestly seeks to live his best at all times, that determination is visible in every moment of his living, no trifle in his life can be too insignificant to reflect his principle of living.
Man can develop his self-reliance by seeking constantly to surpass himself. We try too much to surpass others. If we seek ever to surpass ourselves, we are moving on a uniform line of progress, that gives a harmonious unifying to our growth in all its parts.
Suppose a gardener were to take a plot of ground, and, without turning up the soil, preparing it or fertilizing it or doing anything to put it in good condition he were to plant it with seed of all kinds, covering every inch of the plot. Suppose that he then said: ?This process will of itself enrich the soil and will produce beautiful flowers,? we should think he had suddenly lost his reason. Because he did not first care for the soil and prepare it for the seed we would know that because of his wrong method he would accomplish neither of his claims, he would neither enrich the soil nor produce fine flowers, the soil would be unimproved and the plants poor, stunted, scrawny failures. Such a theory is not a whit more senseless and imbecile than the theory of our educational system.
True happiness must have the tinge of sorrow outlived, the sense of pain softened by the mellowing years, the chastening of loss that in the wondrous mystery of time transmutes our suffering into love and sympathy with others.
If the individual should set out for a single day to give Happiness, to make life happier, brighter and sweeter, not for himself, but for others, he would find a wondrous revelation of what Happiness really is. The greatest of the world's heroes could not by any series of acts of heroism do as much real good as any individual living his whole life in seeking, from day to day, to make others happy.