Monday, April 6, 2015

What is Really Worthwhile?

I'm slowly getting through all my accumulated "Worthwhile Thoughts" files. I've had this one for at least twenty years and possibly longer, but it is definitely a keeper.This was condensed from a tiny volume written in the 1890's by Anna Robertson Brown entitled What is Worth While? which went into 73 printings, stayed in print for 67 years (at the time I copied it) and was translated into Japanese. I love it! She says:

"Only one life to live! How do we make the most of it? How can we accomplish the most with the energies and powers at our command? What is worth while? What is vital? What may we profitably let go? We may let go all things which we may not carry into eternal life!" (What wisdom!)

"With this as a golden yardstick, we can measure our values and establish our rules. If we don't want to cumber our lives, there are four things we can do:

1. DROP PRETENSE! "Eternity is not for shams!"

2. DROP WORRY!  "Worry is a spiritual nearsightedness, a fumbling way of looking at 'little'         things and of magnifying their value."

3. LET GO OF DISCONTENT! "Make a heroic life out of whatever is set before us."

4. LET GO OF SELF-SEEKING! "In the eternal life, there is no greed. One hears of neither 'mine' nor 'thine'. All things are for all."

What are the things in life that we should keep, guard, use? Eight values can enhance one's life:

1. BE WISE IN THE USE OF TIME. The question of life is not "How much time have we?" The question is "What shall we do with it?"

2. VALUE WORK. But not any kind of work. Ask yourself: Is the work vital, strengthening my own character, or inspiring others, or helping the world?

3. SEEK HAPPINESS EACH DAY. If you are not happy today, you will never be happy! Strive to be patient, unselfish, purposeful, strong, eager and work mightily! If you do these things with a grateful heart, you will be happy - at least as happy as it is given man to be on earth.

4.  CHERISH LOVE. True love never nags, it trusts. Love does not have to be tethered, either in time or eternity.

5.  KEEP AMBITION IN CHECK. There is the great danger of substituting intellectual ambition for ordinary human affections. Let us keep it in bounds; let us see to it that it holds a just proportion in our lives.

6. EMBRACE FRIENDSHIP. It takes a great soul to be a true friend. One must forgive much, forget much, forbear much.

7. DO NOT FEAR SORROW. Disappointment in life is inevitable. Pain is the common lot. Sorrow is not given to us alone that we may mourn. It is given us that, having felt, suffered, wept, we may be able to understand, love, bless.

8. CHERISH FAITH. Strong, serene, unquenchable faith in the loving kindness of God will enable us to look fearlessly toward the end of the temporal existence and the beginning of the eternal and will make it possible for us to live our lives effective, grandly!"

Definitely wise words to live by. And I feel a kinship to her - I love her exclamation points! Now I have to do a little investigation into this wise woman who really did determine what is really worthwhile.

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Love this post! So glad you shared! =)