I remember a large family of very small boys that I used to “feel” for, very deeply. Poor little pinched, ragged looking fellows they were, and always working before and after school hours. I gave them nickels and dimes and my children’s outgrown clothes, and new fleece lined gloves for their blue little hands. They kept the clothes hung up at home and the gloves stuffed in their pants pockets. And one day I discovered that every one of those small youngsters had a bank account—something I had never had in my life! They lived as they liked to live, and I had been harrowing my feelings and carrying their (?) burdens for nothing.
This world is not a pitiful place. It is a lovely great world, full of all sorts of people, every one of whom exactly fits into his conditions.
And the loveliest thing of all about this bright, blessed old world is that there is not a man, woman or child in it who cannot change his environment if he doesn’t like the one he now occupies. He can THINK his way into anything.
A real, deep, tender feeling will prompt one to do all he can to alleviate distress or add to the world’s joy. Real feeling prompts to action. But this sentimental slush which slops over on anything and everything in general is nothing but an imitation of the real thing. To sympathize to the extent of acting is good; to harrow up the feelings when you cannot or will not act, is simply weakness.
“Feeling” is subject to the same law as water. Take away its banks and it spreads all over creation and becomes a stagnant slough of despond. Confine it by banks of common-sense and will and it grows deep and tender and powerful, and bears blessings on its bosom.
The professional pity-er is adding to the sum total of the world’s misery.
The world is like “sweet Alice Ben Bolt”; it laughs with delight when you give it a smile, and gets out its pocket handkerchief to weep with you when you call it “Poor thing!”
Then it cuts its call short and runs around the corner to tell your neighbor what a tiresome old thing you are anyway.
Never you mind the tribulations you can’t help, dearie. Just wake up and be the brightest, happiest, sweetest thing you know how to be, and the world will-be that much better off.
TO BE LOVED.
“I desire to attract love from the Infinite or somewhere, that I may not be starved for it, as I have been ever since I married. My husband sneers at the New Thought, and in fact at nearly all that is best in me.”
And yet this woman has children to love her. She thinks she is in need of being loved; but what she really needs is to love. Being loved is the effect of loving. A loving man or woman can never want for love. Others turn to them in love as naturally as flowers turn to the sun.