Revere him—yes, but be natural and let space intervene. Be a Divine molecule.
Be yourself and give your friend a chance to be himself. Thus do you benefit him, and in benefiting him you benefit yourself.
The finest friendships are between those who can do without each other.
Of course there have been cases of exclusive friendship that are pointed out to us as grand examples of affection, but they are so rare and exceptional that they serve to emphasize the fact that it is exceedingly unwise for men of ordinary power and intellect to exclude their fellow men. A few men, perhaps, who are big enough to have a place in history, could play the part of David to another’s Jonathan and yet retain the good will of all, but the most of us would engender bitterness and strife.
And this beautiful dream of socialism, where each shall work for the good of all, will never come about until fifty-one per cent of the adults shall abandon all exclusive friendships. Until that day arrives you will have cliques, denominations—which are cliques grown big—factions, feuds and occasional mobs.
Do not lean on any one, and let no one lean on you. The ideal society will be made up of ideal individuals. Be a man and be a friend to everybody.
When the Master admonished his disciples to love their enemies, he had in mind the truth that an exclusive love is a mistake—love dies when it is monopolized—it grows by giving. Love, lim., is an error. Your enemy is one who misunderstands you—why should you not rise above the fog and see his error and respect him for the good qualities you find in him?
The Folly of Living in the Future
The question is often asked, “What becomes of all the Valedictorians and all the Class-Day Poets?”
I can give information as to two parties for whom this inquiry is made—the Valedictorian of my class is now a most industrious and worthy floor-walker in Siegel, Cooper & Company’s store, and I was the Class-Day Poet. Both of us had our eyes fixed on the Goal. We stood on the Threshold and looked out upon the World preparatory to going forth, seizing it by the tail and snapping its head off for our own delectation.
We had our eyes fixed on the Goal—it might better have been the gaol.
It was a very absurd thing for us to fix our eyes on the Goal. It strained our vision and took our attention from our work. We lost our grip on the present.
To think of the Goal is to travel the distance over and over in your mind and dwell on how awfully far off it is. We have so little mind—doing business on such a limited capital of intellect—that to wear it threadbare looking for a far-off thing is to get hopelessly stranded in Siegel, Cooper & Company.
Of course, Siegel, Cooper & Company is all right, too, but the point is this—it wasn’t the Goal!