- Religion and Philosophy
Inspirational Quotations by Jewish Authors #11
General & Religious Inspirational Quotations
TOPICS: IDLENESS (LAZINESS); INDIFFERENCE; JEALOUSY; MEDDLING; MISTAKES; PREJUDICE; QUARRELING; REVENGE (RETALIATION); SCANDAL; SELFISHNESS; SELF-PITY; SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS: TEMPER; TONGUE (MOUTH); VANITY; WORRY.
Just as all work and no rest is not conducive to cheerful temperament, so is idleness not conductive to a bright and equable temper. There are many people in this world who see no good because they do no good. They let their days pass in idleness. Given only to rest and ease, their lives lack content; their lives lack significance and meaning. A gloomy and unwholesome nature is the result of an insignificant and meaningless life. What those people need is work—healthy work—work that shall keep hand and heart and head nobly busy. What those people need is not high-priced specialists in high-priced private hospitals; what they need is simply work-cure treatment, not rest-cure treatment. Rest-cure made them unhappy; work-cure will make them happy; it will introduce into their homes more cheer and good will than can now be found with all the leisure on their hands.
---Julius Berger, The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 5, 1929.
Is it not true that idleness is the mother of crime? And that the more time man will have to himself, the more will he indulge in evil thoughts and evil deeds? …
We must not take leisure and laziness to mean the same. We must not consider idleness and recreation synonymous.
We have faith in man. We have the confidence in him that in his leisure time he will not be lazy; that in his recreation he will not be idle. He will endeavor to improve his character. He will read more. He will make his home a better place in which to live. He will devote more time to his family. He will see to it that his children receive a better education. He will improve his quality as a social being. He will plant and cultivate in the garden of his soul the flowers of virtue and of goodness. He will have time for the advancement of the welfare of his neighbors. He will have time to learn to appreciate that it is a glorious privilege to be enabled to help those who cannot help themselves. And finally, we will have time to work for his religion.
---Julius Berger, The Canadian Jewish Chronicle, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19, 1929.
It is possible for the ordinary human being to stand up and be counted, to the totality in favor of, or against anything. By inactivity, by a spirit of defeatism, by apathy and indifference, we can lose our highest treasures. And we can indefinitely postpone our most splendid and superb goals. I do believe that one can be as objective and realistic as he may, and at the same time hold ideals and labor toward fulfillment. And the final and complete achievement is not, or should not be, our principal purpose, but honest, consistent, earnest and even dedicated labors toward an end. Whether we succeed altogether or partially–or whether we fail–the efforts is in itself vital and valuable.
—Adolph H. Fink, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, Utah, Oct. 20, 1952.
Jealousy is the one seed that, if allowed to take root, everlastingly grows the Dead Sea fruit of revenge, and with it the despair that always comes. Jealousy never brought anyone anything but heartbreak and misery.
When jealousy enters the heart every look is MAGNIFIED, ever action becomes MOMENTOUS, every word becomes weighty, until the brain throbs with its imagination of wrong. And pride is often the wall that keeps the green-eyed monster from climbing over and finding the truth. In lesser ways there are those of us who allow this demon to break us down with misgiving, distrust and unhappiness.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., July 10, 1914.
Crush the demon of jealousy; for it never brought anything but tears and suicides and divorces and prisons.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1914.
Be a busy bee rather than a busybody. The one makes sweet things, but the other is ever a “lemon.”
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1910.
Earth has no balsam for mistakes.
---S.H. Clark, The Acorn, Ogden, Utah, March 1907.
Everybody errs—that’s why they put erasers on pencils.
The mightiest men misjudge, grow bigger and broader through blunder. Experience is the process of making and unmaking and making up for mistakes.
Your intentions being good, your mistake is generally forgivable—and remediable. We learn from our mistakes and most of us acquire a pretty good education.
There is no royal road to success. Its path leads through a jungle and tangle of doing, undoing, starting, backing, tacking, sailing and trimming with all the time a specific destination in view. It takes a good sized, wide proportioned, big-hearted, whole-souled species of optimism and grit to climb over the mistakes of today and gaze at the valley of prosperity of tomorrow. But it’s the only way.
Nature occasionally makes a mistake and then hurriedly atones. She robbed Helen Keller of sight, speech and hearing and in her fit of remorse endowed her with brains and soul that burst through the empty, agonizing gloom and proclaimed her an everlasting inspiration to men afflicted with physical infirmity and a challenge to those who physical faculties were sound.
One of the saddest sights in the world is the man who has never made a mistake, who is always right. Don’t expect him to grow bigger.
---Herman J. Stich, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Aug. 13, 1919.
Do we really need all that guilt?
Isn't it a shame that there is so much guilt and blame going around? There is almost an epidemic of guilt and blame in the air, with just about as many debilitating effects as the medical variety of epidemics which have taken their toll over the centuries.
Guilt and blame hang heavily over people, often causing real paralysis that hampers the decision-making process. Fear of making the wrong decision has certainly resulted in many good things never being done. In the course of living our lives, we all make mistakes. But, if we allow mistakes or errors in judgment to haunt us for too long a time, then we limit our own ability to move on with our lives.
Our society often seems to place a premium on the amount of guilt and blame that can be generated. As a somewhat extreme example, [when] we are in a political campaign season, we are virtually inundated--on all sides--by assertions of how bad the other candidate is.
Points seem to be scored by attributing the ills of our time directly to what the opponent did or said. And extra points are often added to the tally if errors committed by people associated with the candidate are added into the total.
Parents are easy targets for children to blame for all of their mistakes in child-rearing. Children are equally easy targets for parents to blame as reasons for their own upsets. And, too, teachers and clergy come in for their share of blame for lessons not learned and spiritual convictions not felt. "It's all your fault," is the battle cry. After all, somebody has to be blamed.
Is that really so? All of us need relief and release from the burdens of the past which can hinder our enjoyment of the present and our dreams of the future. With regard to this problem of living, it is interesting to learn from the valuable insights of Judaism's teachers and their concepts of what are spoken of as "sin" and "repentance." The biblical word for "sin" is "chayt," a Hebrew word meaning literally to sin, or to miss the mark, as an archer shoots for the bull's-eye and misses. So, sin, in a Jewish sense, means to fall short of the goal, missing the mark of what we might have been, could have been, and therefore should have been in our relationship to ourselves, our relationship with our fellow human beings, and thereby falling short in our relationship with God.
But, tied in with this is the Jewish idea of repentance, also best expressed in the Hebrew word "teshuvah," meaning literally to turn around, to try again. So, each individual has the opportunity to try again, to do better.
A rabbinic sage recorded in the Talmud told his students, "A person should repent one day before his death." The students protested and said that we do not know when we are going to die. "Therefore," said the teacher, "each day should be a day of repentance, a day of turning around and trying to do better."
We can learn from our mistakes if we allow ourselves the luxury of stepping back to see where we have been and where we would like to be in our lives. We do not have to forfeit our right to live and right to enjoy life because of any single mistake we may have taken.
Growth is always possible, and that is one of the greatest God-given challenges of living. To be able to turn our shortcomings into steppingstones could be one of the best lessons we can teach our children--and ourselves.
—Arnold S. Task, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, Alexandria, La., Sept. 28, 1996.
I have known men who could see through the motivations of others with the skill of a clairvoyant, only to prove blind to their own mistakes. I have been one of those men.
—Bernard M. Baruch, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 21, 1965.
There are two underlying causes of prejudice: a feeling of superiority and one of inferiority. Although conscience tells us that men are biologically equal, the man who feels superior to others is prone to be prejudiced towards them.
A person with an inferiority complex is more fanatical and more persistent in his prejudice. He is consumed by ill will, even towards members of his family, his brothers in the flesh.
The man who feels inferior has the desire to pull everyone down to a level of mediocrity.
Even when we disagree with our own brothers, we must respect them and the things they believe.
Are we not all brothers? Shouldn’t we take the straight path to each other? We must help other in the highest matters of faith and hope.
---Samuel A. Bloom, Niagara Falls Gazette, Niagara Falls, N.Y., Jan. 31, 1948.
Prejudice means judgment in advance of fact, or even contrary to fact. I wish that everyone would cooperate to combat prejudice, first in themselves, next in others. It is purely and simply an act of justice. Let us learn to judge men in keeping with what we find them to be and not as we imagine or illogically construe them. The elimination of prejudice through the assertion of fair play would convert many foes into friends and extensively convert much of the bigotry of religion into a blessing.
---Alexander Lyons, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1931.
Prejudice not only leads men to condemnatory judgment in advance of facts but with total disregard of facts. As such it is pernicious and at times even vicious. Any soul that is touched with even a little of that piety which flows from the supernal spring of a recognition of God as the Universal Father will combat and strive to eliminate such prejudice as he would a deadly disease. It is a disease, a moral disease.
---Alexander Lyons, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., Aug. 9, 1933.
Ignorance is the mother of all prejudice, and it is because we do not know each other that we hate one another.
---Tobias Schanfarber, Oswego Daily Times, Oswego, N.Y., May 14, 1910.
Prejudice is, in every guise and garb, the same, the primal instinct of distrust, of self-centered estrangement that stands between brother and brother. Whether prejudice be racial, national or religious, it is prompted everywhere by the same spirit of exclusion, the same weighing with a double measure, the same obstinate blindness of injustice, that loves to dwell upon the evil and passes by the good as of no account. The genuine man will turn the serpent into a staff; instead of overwhelming his soul with the bitter heartache over the wrongs he suffers he will look out with more sympathetic eyes upon the whole vast world of wrong; he will enlist himself as a soldier in the great army of progress; he will seek his brothers everywhere, especially among the persecuted and downtrodden. Instead of digging the sting of injustice into his entrails in impotent anger, he will let his love and fellow-feeling go forth to his countless brothers in suffering the wide globe over. He will not view himself as a wretched victim of some devouring monster; he will see himself as one of a host of martyrs over whose crushed bodies the genius of civilization is rising, toilsomely, but surely, to final heights of abiding peace under perfect injustice.
—Max Heller, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Feb. 13, 1911.
Exercise your intelligence against the insistent temptation to follow customary patterns of socially sanctioned prejudices without regard to their merits. We can preserve our democratic principles of religious and civil liberty only if our people continue to practice freedom of thought and freedom of expression untrammeled and unafraid.
—Herbert H. Lehman, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 6, 1939.
When people quarrel, one word brings on another until they acquire a vocabulary that they are ashamed of.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Oct. 23, 1913.
Revenge only fertilizes the soil of destruction.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1913.
He who sows the seeds of malice must of necessity reap the Dead Sea of revenge. Pure revenge never righted a wrong or actually brought the satisfaction that was sought. The ever-present green-eyed monster jealousy worms its way in the hearts and minds of human beings and stirs them to actions which they later deplore. Always with this serpent is the red-eyed lawless microbe of revenge, and this, if allowed to grow, is an element in the human game that makes for destruction everywhere.
There are no wholesome returns in the rotting process of revenge. Right in our midst, in lesser degree, this spirit of GETTING EVEN stalks abroad. The fellow with a grievance is always on the job. Bad business—all of it. “Having it in for somebody” is the worm of worry that causes wrinkles and gray hairs and makes people run away from you.
The man who laughs last and longest is he who cultivates a spirit of tolerance that no being can make him hate him. For he realizes that every moment of revenge carries with it hours of remorse.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., March 28, 1914.
We can talk ourselves into sense or folly; into purity or beastliness; into being the missing link between man and the brutes, or between man and the angels. Speech may be crystallized into truths, laws, sublimities of thought, poems, magnificent and inspiring eloquence. Or speech may decay into villanies, cruelties, impurities, scandals, frauds and lies. “In the multitude of words,” says Proverbs, “there wanted not sin; but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”
Self-control means first speech-control. The mouth measures character.
There is an innocent curiosity and a delight in the humanity of men that is full of charm and interest. But the ethical difference is obvious between photography and caricatures, between reporting and reviling. The distinction between gossip and malicious scandal is similar to that between humor and sarcasm. In humor we laugh with the humorist; in sarcasm he laughs at us.
Among men, we recognize clearly the ox, the bear, the fox, the lion, the snake, the vulture. There are those in every community, snakelike in their writings, sneaking pryings and distribution of venom. They delight in guttering for the indiscretion of a woman or the first financial trembling of a man. Her indiscretion becomes vice, rum, agony; his difficulty becomes danger, disaster, downfall. They are coarsely and correctly branded as backbiters. They are vermin. If they see a tidbit, if they spy an infirmity, if they can small a scandal, they roll the choice morsel under their tongue; they revel in the miserable secret; they gloat over it with their cronies; they hiss it; they hint it; they carry it as a delicacy to their fellow-vermin, and they all enjoy a grand cannibalistic feast over the dead or dying reputation of their helpless victim.
I once heard an eloquent orator narrate that once a woman came to her priest to confess that she had been slandering her neighbors. What must she do? The priest gave her a thistle top and said, “Now, take that thistle and scatter the seeds all over this field.” She scattered them far and wide as he had bid her. “Now,” he said to her on her return, “go out again and gather the seed that you have scattered.” She said, “I can’t do it, the winds have blown them here and there and many are hidden and planted already. How can I gather them?” “Ah, my daughter,” said the priest, “no more can you take back the evil words you have spoken against your neighbor.”
“The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.”
We are not, let me add, cruel or criminal as a rule in intention, but careless. But, in many instances carelessness is virtually cruelty and crime. Carelessness in a surgeon may mean manslaughter; in a general, massacre; in a judge, the shipwreck of a human life. The great catastrophes of history were not deliberate villanies. The worst harm is done when meaning none. The sneer spoken in jest is repeated in earnest. The slur said good-naturedly is circulated maliciously. Your tone is kindly; you smile with good humor and felicity. You hedge your assertions around with doubts, and hearsays and cautions, and they are repeated without any doubts or hearsays or reservations, without your smile or good nature, as absolute truths. And you are responsible for all the hideous consequences. A chance word grows and grows into a shameful report that is hissed from lip to lip and travels around the circle until it strikes its victim, breaks a heart, and wrecks a home. Every listener, every repeater, is responsible for the heartbreak and the pain.
“The School for Scandal” sparkles with wit, incisive epigram, lightning flashes of insight. And it lives on the boards because “all the world’s a stage,” and in this school the players desire no vacation, for their studies are never completed. And they do not even know that they are players.
Of course you know that it is not you that I am addressing. It is your neighbor. You hope she will lay it to heart. It is quite impressive—this innocence of the scandalmonger.
An old authority said wisely regarding these worthies, to quote again, that both the slanderer and the listener should be hung up—the one by the tongue, the other by the ear. I fear that if this penalty were enforced, there would be a great many mutilated tongues and lacerated ears.
The consequences, however, are not apportioned often so justly and fittingly. The more subtle and pitiable results fall often quite near home. Imagine a household where such table talk finds entry into the sensitive ear and mind of children? Your children whom you educate and influence most when you are least aware of it, are they to near malicious criticisms, cruel rumors passed from mouth to mouth? Can we then expect the little ones to be better than such parents? How can the sweet innocence of childhood, its chivalry and good will and generous sentiment be proof against such miserable influences? Spare the little ones at least, and perchance from this reserve may come a noble reticence and charity.
And I would finally plead on plain, practical grounds with offenders of this ilk. I would say to them that they are revealing more than they wish to reveal, they are exposing more than they dream of. They are exposing themselves. It is a true instinct that leads us to judge men themselves by their judgment of others. We make known the thinker with the thought, the critic with the criticism. We mix ourselves with our pain, our song, our opinions. We are sketching unconsciously our own portraits as we outline our neighbor’s character in words. If we impugn his motives, ‘tis because our own are questionable. If we doubt his sincerity, our own hypocrisy informs us and betrays itself. A quiet, sensible observer by silent attention can pierce to the core of his fellows without their ever by even a word deliberately sketching their own personality. The moral qualities of these human reptiles, he that runs may read. Their own envy, hatred, cruelty, malice or mere wanton delight, in calumny, are exposed. Their slanders are boomerangs. Their powder is not smokeless. Their mud batteries are disclosed and made helpless by their very recoil.
The mask is thus torn off from a bad heart. And, let me add, from an empty and frivolous mind. Gambling and malicious gossip both spring largely from poverty of resources. You may measure the illiteracy of men, says Herbert Spencer, by their excessive use of the pronoun “I” and by their chronic drivel about persons instead of principles, thoughts, ideas, the substantial and serious questions for intelligent minds.
Both these instances, the verses from Proverbs strikingly illustrate: First, “In the multitude of words, there is wanteth not sin;” second, “He that uttereth slander is a fool.”
Have these pitiful creatures never rejoiced, suffered, triumphed; have they not struggled ever for a good prize; are they not burden-bearers, gladiators, runners in the great race whose dust off hides the goal? Have they not laughed and wept and seen their midnight fretted with golden fire? Have they not read, meditated, learned the tragi-comedy of the ages, and beheld the motley panorama of modern life, with its whirligig of fortune, the storm of war, the skylark-song of poetry, the full noon of science, the Phoenix-birth of new religion, the fermentation of the nations within strange new leaven? Has this mighty groaning travail of the modern age appealed to them so little that language, the daughter of the gods, has become to them a kitchen-wench; that speech, the mirror of the soul, has become to them a cracked and filthy fragment; that words, the vehicle and coinage of wisdom and immortal thought, have become for them but the vile counterfeits of malice, spleen and shame?
---Leon Harrison, St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., April 22, 1901
Beware of the person who persistently suspects others of selfishness. His unselfishness is suspicious.
---Alexander Lyons, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., May 4, 1932.
The foundations of a life are weak indeed if they rest on the slippery sands of selfishness.
—Monroe E. Deutsch, Vital Speeches of the Day, Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Aug. 15, 1945.
Whenever you find that you are losing faith in others, are cynical, doubting the other person's sincerity and integrity, believing that all people are ungrateful, selfish and unsympathetic, that is the time to take a good look at yourself.
It may be true that you have been disappointed, disillusioned, that you have experienced ingratitude and unfair treatment. There is no denying the reality of your particular disenchantment.
Nobody lives in this world who is a stranger to frustration, to bitter failure of fond expectations. We are all thwarted on occasions, and all of us at some time have had our hopes crushed.
But we make a crucial mistake when we conclude, on the basis of one or several unpleasant encounters, that the world of humanity is untrustworthy.
More important, however, is turning the spotlight not on others, but on yourself. Constructive criticism is a virtue. Perhaps you are at fault. Maybe you have not worked hard enough, or you have failed to do your part towards arousing the best in others.
Perhaps you have been greedy and selfish, in that you have not expected too much without being willing to do your generous share.
As Shakespeare suggested, the fault lies in ourselves.
You have been too harsh, too critical, or you are too bashful or too overbearing. Have you yourself been sincere and truly loving and devoted?
You will enjoy life when you make life enjoyable for the other person.
—Hyman Judah Schachtel, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Sept. 29, 1956.
Too much pity for ourselves often enough prevents us from actively proving our pity for others.
—Moritz Spitz, The Jewish Voice, St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 22, 1913.
What is the greatest danger to religion in America today?
Is it the criminal element--the gamblers, the dope peddlers and the gangsters who mock our morals, entice our youngsters and pollute our cities?
Who are religion's greatest enemies?
Are they the Communists who despise it, close the seminaries and persecute the rabbis and priests? Or does the greatest threat to religion come from the philosophy of materialism which asserts that our ideas about God, prayer and morality are just the products of ignorance and fearful minds?
No, all of these groups and ideas are dangerous to our faith because they are opposed to our Bible, our prayer book and our houses of worship. But they are not the greatest danger to religion.
The greatest threat to religion in America today does not come from outside, but from within.
The greatest danger is the smugness of religious people.
The greatest enemies, even if unwitting enemies, are the self-righteous. The extent of this danger was revealed in an article on "Religion and the American People," which appeared in a national magazine [in 1947].
It disturbed me then, and it will go on disturbing me as long as I live, because it revealed the greatest threat to religion.
When the people were asked what difference it would make in their daily lives if they were to follow the Golden Rule all the way, half of them answered that it would make no difference at all. They believe they were already going all the way.
They were asked, "Do you love your business competitor and act lovingly toward him?" Eighty percent said "yes."
Eighty percent of those surveyed believe they acted with love toward their colored neighbors, and 90 percent said they loved people of other faiths!
What a revelation of the sin of pride!
What a contrast between these claims and reality! Does our daily life support these self-assessments?
Does our business and professional world reflect the statement of four our of every five people that they are living by love?
If 80 or 90 percent of the American people are living as ethically as they say they are, then who os slinging mud in political campaigns?
Why are there still slums?
Is it only the wicked who are failing to serve on juries?
Is it only the irreligious that do not vote at the polls?
Is it just the atheists who are building residential sections for Christians only?
Is it the materialistic philosophers who are maintaining the color bar in job opportunities?
Is it only the criminal element who are carrying on vicious campaigns of slander against liberal and patriotic school officials?
No, it is not the bad people, but the people who are good in their own eyes, who are doing these things.
Their self-righteousness is the greatest menace to religion, for they make religion ineffective for those inside its walls and a mockery to those outside.
Real religion should impel a man to work for the Kingdom of God.
True religion should make a man dissatisfied with anything less than perfection.
But if imperfect people think themselves already well-nigh perfect, if smug people think the message of the Bible and of the pulpit has already reached them, that it is only for others, then what has religion left to say to them?
What the self-righteous do is to confuse virtue with respectability, and idealism with conformity.
They take the very heart out of religion they profess to live by, and they make it a byword to others.
All the Communists, the atheists and the materialists need do to discredit religion is to point to the gap between creed and deed, to the obvious contradiction in how religious people approve themselves and how they behave themselves. ...
Worse than doing wrong is to call it right. Worse than being evil is to claim to be good.
We have sinned; we have transgressed, we have done perversely.
And if self-righteousness threatens religion, humble confession makes it strong. It turns men from satisfaction with themselves as they are and urges them to become what they ought to be.
This is the supreme purpose of religion, and to ally ourselves with this purpose is to make religion powerful in our lives and in our society.
—Robert I. Kahn, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Sept. 19, 1953.
What makes a home a sanctuary? The spirit of love, the qualities of tenderness, the healing balm of encouragement; that's what makes the home a sanctuary, a place where people love to come.
We ought never to ridicule our loved ones, make fun of them, use them as the butt of our jokes. How shall we ever develop people who think well of themselves if in their own homes they have been cut down by scorn and insult and ridicule by members of their own family, no less? I do not believe that what I am asking for is a simple thing to do because it does require control, it requires discipline. It is so easy to talk out in temper, to act in fiery hate and anger. Some of us do have fearful tempers and we are prone to let loose our tempers upon those who are near to us. I can only plead with you who are hot tempered to do everything in your power to practice forbearance. Beware lest your cripple a soul, lest you stunt the growth of self-respect and dignity within your own flesh and blood. Beware lest you bring curse upon your household instead of blessing.
I suppose there are many ways in which to meet the crisis of our age, the heart of which is the conflict between the debasement of man versus the dignity of man. But I do not know of any more certain way to assure the survival of our democracy than to teach our children the proper love of self and self-respect.
—Hyman Judah Schachtel, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 14, 1954.
A rattling tongue is a sure sign of a rattlebrain.
---Herman J. Stich, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., April 9, 1919.
The man who thinks he is too big for the job usually finds the job too big for him.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Feb. 3, 1914.
Keep from worrying about your health; imagination has a tendency to stretch.
---Sophie Irene Loeb, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Dec. 31, 1914.
Here is my prescription for worry:
Let us keep in mind that the world, including ourselves, is never bankrupt. We have wondrous adaptability. We can thus handle every situation if we make earnest, honest, patient and persistent effort. We should be encouraged to this by the thought that every situation in life has a compensatory condition. If our experience is trying, even tearfully trying, we can turn it into a test and thus convert it into a triumph.
But we must have faith and hope. Let us lay hold of these, trusting that our effort and patience shall not be in vain.
---Alexander Lyons, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, N.Y., Feb. 1, 1933.
All other virtues will lose their effect if worry is allowed to mix with them.
‑‑‑Simon R. Blatteis, Journal of Living, New York, N.Y., April 1951.
“In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15.)
What do we fear most? We are most afraid of fear itself, of worry. Worry is the most futile of all occupations; yet to realize its futility is not to solve the problem. We can cure bad habits only by substituting good ones.
First, we must learn to live one day at a time. We must stop trying to carry our burdens in three dimensions simultaneously: all the troubles we have had; all we have now; and all we expect to have. A visitor said to a worker building a mammoth wall, “That’s a gigantic job.” The answer was, “It isn’t so bad. You do it one brick at a time.” So it is with life itself.
Secondly, we must busy with worthwhile work. Surplus energies become the ready raw materials for our fear-creating factories. And the work must be done for others; it must direct our energies outwardly, away from ourselves and our petty personal concerns.
And finally, the most important therapy is faith, religious faith. Fear and faith cannot live together at the same time in the same mind. And by faith I mean that glowing belief in the goodness of God, in the worthwhileness of life which cannot be destroyed by any outward circumstances.
---Harry B. Pastor, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., March 3, 1952.
The habit of worry, like every other habit, becomes easier with indulgence. Worry is the worst enemy of success and the best ally to nervousness. Let me impress upon you especially two facts--90 percent of the things we worry about don't even happen, and, never try to solve a problem lying down in the dark. It only gets more involved.
—Benjamin Kaplan, DeRidder Enterprise, DeRidder, La., Feb. 25, 1949.