We cannot alter external things, nor shape other people to our liking, nor mould the world to our wishes but we can alter internal things, like our desires, passions, thoughts, we can shape our liking to other people and we can mould the inner world of our own mind in accordance with wisdom, and so reconcile it to the outer world if men and things. We cannot avoid the turmoil of the world, but we can overcome the disturbance of mind. The duties and difficulties of life claim our attention, but we can rise above all anxiety concerning them. Surrounded by noise we can yet have a quiet mind; involved in responsabilities, the heart can be at rest; in the mindst of strife, we can know the abiding peace.
To maintain an unchangeable sweetness of disposition, to think only thoughts that are pure and gentle and to be happy under all circumstances, such blessed conditions and such beauty of character and life should be the aim of all, and particularly so of those to wish to lessen the misery of the world. If anyone has failed to lift himself above ungentleness, impurity and unhappiness, he is greatly deluded if he imagines he can make the world happier by the propagation of any theory or teology. He who is daily living in harshness, impurity or unhappiness is day by day adding to the sum of the world’s misery, whereas he, who continually lives in goodwill, and does not depart from happiness, is day by day increasing the sum of the world’s happiness, and this independently of any religious beliefs which these may or may not hold.
A sweet and happy soul is the ripened fruit of experience and wisdom and it sheds abroad the invisible yet powerful aroma of its experience, gladenning the hearts of others and purifying the world. And all who will, and who have not yet commenced, may begin this day, if they will so resolve, to live sweety and happily, as becomes the dignity of a true manhood or womanhood.
Do not say that your surroundings are against you. A man’s surroundings are never against him; they are there to aid him, and those outward occurrences over which you loose sweetness and peace of mind are the very conditions necessary to your development, and it is only by meeting and overcoming them, that you can learn, and grow and ripen. The fault is in yourself.
Pure happiness is the rightful and healthy condition for the soul, and all may possess it if they live purely and unselfish.
Despondency, irritability, anxiety and complaining, condemning and grumbling – all these are thought-cankers, mind-desease. They are the indications of a wrong mental condition. It is true there is much sin and misery in the world, so that our love and compassion are needed, but our misery is not needed, there is already too much of that. Now it is our cheerfulness and happiness that are needed, for there is too little of that. We can give nothing better to the world than beauty of life and character. Without this all the other things are vain. This is pre-eminently excellent.
Cease to dwell pessimistically upon the wrongs around you. Dwell no more in complaints about, and revolt against, the evil in others, and commence to live free from all wrong and evil yourself. You can transform everything around you if you will transform yourself.