There is no outward sign of politeness which has not a deep, moral reason. Behavior is a mirror in which every one shows his own image. There is a politeness of the heart akin to love, from which springs the easiest politeness of outward behavior... Politeness is not always a sign of wisdom, but the want of it always leaves room for the suspicion of folly.
They set the slave free, striking off his chains. Then he was as much of a slave as ever. He was still chained to servility. He was still manacled to indolence and sloth, he was still bound by fear and superstition, by ignorance suspicion and savagery. His slavery was not in the chains, but in himself. They can only set free men free. And there is no need of that. Free men set themselves free.
It is not good to speak of evil of all whom we know bad; it is worse to judge evil of any who may prove good. To speak ill upon knowledge shows a want of charity; to speak ill upon suspicion shows a want of honesty. I will not speak so bad as I know of many; I will not speak worse than I know of any. To know evil of others and not speak it, is sometimes discretion; to speak evils of others and not know it, is always dishonesty. He may be evil himself who speaks good of others upon knowledge, but he can never be good himself who speaks evil of others upon suspicion.
One must remember that practically all of us have a number of significant learning disabilities. For example, I am grossly unmusical and cannot carry a tune. We happen to live in a society in which the child who has trouble learning to read is in difficulty. Yet we have all seen dyslexic children who have either superior visual-perception or visual-motor skills. My suspicion would be that in an illiterate society such a child would be in little difficulty and might in fact do better because of his superior visual-perception talents, while many of us who function here might do poorly in a society in which a quite different array of talents was needed in order to be successful. As the demands of society change will we acquire a new group of "minimally brain damaged?"
Suspicion on one side breeds suspicion on the other, and new weapons beget counterweapons.
One of the principal ingredients in the happiness of childhood is freedom from suspicion - why may it not be combined with a more extensive intercourse with mankind? A disposition to dwell on the bright side of character is like gold to its possessor; but to imagine more evil than meets the eye, betrays affinity for it.
Today. Mend a quarrel. Search out a friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forego a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize if you were wrong. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine demands on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate, be kind, be gentle. Laugh a little more. Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Worship your God. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Still speak it again. Speak it still once again.
Beauty | Complacency | Confidence | Earth | Enemy | Envy | Friend | God | Gratitude | Heart | Little | Love | Loyalty | Loyalty | Malice | Pleasure | Promise | Search | Suspicion | Time | Trust | Wonder | Worship | Wrong | Youth | Beauty | Forgive | Think |
If the higher companionship which love should be does not make men and women nobler, more generous, more ready to sacrifice even their beautiful life for a lofty purpose, there is a suspicion that their love is not love but a combination of egoisms.