Despair

Whoever sets out to persuade men to accept a new idea, or one which seems to be new, not just as an idea, but as a truth that is felt, should know beforehand that the human mind is not a blank sheet, on which one an write with ease, and should not therefore grieve or despair when he finds that people do not pay attention to him.

A cheerful spirit is one of the most valuable gifts ever bestowed upon humanity by a kind Creator. It is the sweetest and the most fragrant flower of the Spirit, that constantly sends out its beauty and fragrance, and blesses everything within its reach. It will sustain the soul in the darkest and most dreary places of this world. It will hold in check the demons of despair, and stifle the power of discouragement and hopelessness. It is the brightest star that ever cast its radiance over the darkened soul, and one that seldom sets in the gloom of morbid fancies and foreboding imaginations.

With our finite minds we cannot presume to know if there is a Purpose. We sense, however, the presence of something greater than we can comprehend, a force as yet unknown to us - perhaps even to be unknown. So we accept our situation, learn from it, and do the best we can, resting on faith, despair, or cynicism, depending on the individual. Overriding all this must be an obligation - self-imposed or externally impressed - to do the best one can for others, to relieve suffering and to exercise compassion. We are all in this together, for life is a common, not an individual, endeavor.

Religion converts despair, which destroys, into resignation, which submits.

There is a very life in our despair.

A religion giving dark views of God, and infusing superstitious fear of innocent enjoyment, instead of aiding sober habits, will, by making men abject and sad, impair their moral force and prepare them for intemperance as a refuge from depression or despair.

Discouragement is simply the despair of wounded self-love.

Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God, while hoping nothing from self.

In all things it is better to hope than to despair.

Debauchery is perhaps an act of despair in the face of infinity.

The worst of poisons: to mistrust (despair) one's power.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the face, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-interest, fear, despair - these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Great things often come from where despair reigns. The performance of duty still determines man's destiny.

Evil exists in the world not to create despair but activity.

No virtue fades out of mankind. No over-hopeful by inborn temperament, cautious by long experience, I yet never despair of human virtue.

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. People grow old only by deserting their ideals and outgrowing the consciousness of youth. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as old as your doubt; your fear; your despair. The way to keep young is to keep your faith young. Keep your self-confidence young. Keep your hope young.

Humanity goes on and on almost in despair, hoping some time to find rest and peace and fullness of life in the undefined future, when, in fact, all these and more are here now if we would (could?) only reach out our hand and take them.

At times a person might feel so embarrassed and discouraged over the wrongs he has committed that he will give up trying to improve. Despair is wrong. You always have the ability to improve yourself and should never become discouraged.

No clear-thinking or clear-seeing man or woman can be an apostle of despair. He alone fails who gives up and lies down.

As it is never too soon to be good, so it is never too late to amend; I will, therefore, neither neglect the time present, nor despair of the time past. If I had been sooner good, I might perhaps have been better; if I am longer bad, I shall I am sure, be worse.