The Majesty of Calmness – William George Jordan

Podcast Excerpt: What the world needs and what individuals need is a higher standard of living, a greater sense of the privilege and dignity of life, a higher and nobler conception of individuality. With this great sense of calmness permeating an individual, we become able to retire more into ourselves, away from the noise, the confusion and strife of the world, which come to our ears only as faint, far-off rumblings.

The person who is calm does not selfishly isolate themselves from the world, for they are intensely interested in all that concerns the welfare of humanity. Their calmness is but a refuge into which they can retire from the world to get strength to live in the world. They realize that the full glory of individuality, the crowning of their self-control is — the majesty of calmness.

To cultivate calmness, we must ignore the complaints of those who compel us to hurry. Mother Nature is un-American for she never hurries. Every phase of her working shows plan, calmness, reliability, and the absence of hurry—while Hurry itself always implies a lack of a definite method, confusion, and impatience with slow growth.

The Tower of Babel, the world’s first skyscraper, was a failure because of hurry. The workers mistook their arrogant ambition for inspiration. They had too many builders — and no architect. They thought to make up for the lack of a head by an abundance of hands. This is a characteristic of Hurry. It seeks ever to make energy a substitute for a clearly defined plan.

But let us not confuse hurry with haste. Hurry is a counterfeit of haste. Haste has an ideal, a distinct aim to be realized by the quickest, direct methods. Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and is in harmony with a pre-determined course. Hurry says: “I must move faster. I will get three compasses; I will have them different; I will be guided by all of them. One of them will probably be right.”

Read The Entire Essay in Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons

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