A goodly dash of indifference is a requisite in the formula for doing a great work.
No one knows what the Goal is—we are all sailing under sealed orders.
Do your work to-day, doing it the best you can, and live one day at a time. The man that does this is conserving his God-given energy, and not spinning it out into tenuous spider threads so fragile and filmy that unkind Fate will probably brush it away.
To do your work well to-day, is the certain preparation for something better to-morrow. The past has gone from us forever; the future we cannot reach; the present alone is ours. Each day’s work is a preparation for the next day’s duties.
Live in the present—the Day is here, the time is Now.
There is only one thing that is worth praying for—that we may be in the line of Evolution.
The Spirit of Man
Maybe I am all wrong about it, yet I cannot help believing that the spirit of man will live again in a better world than ours. Fenelon says: “Justice demands another life to make good the inequalities of this.” Astronomers prophesy the existence of stars long before they can see them. They know where they ought to be, and training their telescopes in that direction they wait, knowing they shall find them.
Materially, no one can imagine anything more beautiful than this earth, for the simple reason that we cannot imagine anything we have not seen; we may make new combinations, but the whole is made up of parts of things with which we are familiar. This great green earth out of which we have sprung, of which we are a part, that supports our bodies which must return to it to repay the loan, is very, very beautiful.
But the spirit of man is not fully at home here; as we grow in soul and intellect, we hear, and hear again, a voice which says: “Arise and get thee hence, for this is not thy rest.” And the greater and nobler and more sublime the spirit, the more constant is the discontent. Discontent may come from various causes, so it will not do to assume that the discontented ones are always the pure in heart, but it is a fact that the wise and excellent have all known the meaning of world-weariness. The more you study and appreciate this life, the more sure you are that this is not all. You pillow your head upon Mother Earth, listen to her heart-throb, and even as your spirit is filled with the love of her, your gladness is half pain and there comes to you a joy that hurts. To look upon the most exalted forms of beauty, such as sunset at sea, the coming of a storm on the prairie, or the sublime majesty of the mountains, begets a sense of sadness, an increasing loneliness. It is not enough to say that man encroaches on man so that we are really deprived of our freedom, that civilization is caused by a bacillus, and that from a natural condition we have gotten into a hurly-burly where rivalry is rife—all this may be true, but beyond and outside of all this there is no physical environment in way of plenty which earth can supply, that will give the tired soul peace. They are the happiest who have the least; and the fable of the stricken king and the shirtless beggar contains the germ of truth. The wise hold all earthly ties very lightly—they are stripping for eternity.