08 Jan The Wisdom of the Optimistic Person | Inspirational Podcasts
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Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from the book Success is For You by Dorothy Quigley, published in 1899.
“HOW can one be cheerful when life is so tragic?” you ask. When life is so serious, and there is so much sadness, how can one be joyful?
Well, if life is tragic to you, perhaps you have made it so. Perhaps you have made no effort to understand yourself, and (unstable as water), you have been swayed by every changing circumstance, every whim, and every impulse, becoming a victim instead of a master of your emotions.
Perhaps unawares you have been so supremely selfish and exacting that you have demanded too much of others and have exhausted their interest, love, and patience. Perhaps you have allowed yourself to be deceived, although you have every power within you to aid you in reading your fellow-beings aright.
Perhaps you have put false values on wealth and social position, and bewailed your lowly station in life with woeful humility, forgetting it is the soul that occupies the place and not the place that commands our reverence, or respect, or admiration.
Perhaps you have forgotten that all of us, like polygons, have several sides, and you have not taken the trouble to see some apparently unkind relative or associate from every point of view.
Many a high-minded, but exacting wife, expects her husband to live up to her theories instead of the highest and best in himself, and she makes no effort to discover the highest and best in him, to help him nourish and show it forth.
Many a husband forms a character-mould for his wife to fit into, without trying to tenderly learn the real nature of his companion. He exacts from her what his preconceived idea of her, his caricature of her, would do and say. Affection can- not thrive under such treatment, and many an exacting husband and wife have thus created their own sorrow.
Perhaps you have been too self-sacrificing. As has been shown, ignoble self-sacrifice is as bad, sometimes worse, than exacting selfishness, because it develops selfishness in others and makes one negative and powerless to hold and attract the most dignified, ennobling, and enduring kind of love.
You may say “How can anyone be cheerful when death is omnipresent?” It requires our strongest, highest effort to face the desolation and loneliness that follow in the track of death. May we not hope that anything so universal as death must be beneficial? May we not trust, as we watch the workings of nature, that death is but another condition of life?
Despite the unspeakable sadness that wrecks our own hearts we, at least, should not grieve selfishly. Many a mourner grieves in a self- pitying way. Passionate grief neither does the dead any good nor the living. It does the latter harm. Death is the Messiah that redeems us from brutal unkindness and all uncharitableness. Without death and little children what would not the world lack in gentleness, loving kindness, and sweetness?
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