So long as men and women believe that happiness lies in outdistancing, surpassing their fellows in exterior or material things, they cannot help but be subjects to worry. To determine to gain a larger fortune than that possessed by another man is a sure invitation to worry to enter into possession of one’s soul. Who has not seen the vain struggles, the distress, the worry of unsatisfied ambitions that would have amounted to nothing had they been gratified? In Women’s Clubs—as well as men’s—many a heart-ache is caused because some other woman gains an office, is elected to a position, is appointed on a committee you had coveted.
The remedy for this kind of worry is to change the aim of life. Instead of making position, fame, the attainment of fortune, office, a fine house, an automobile, the object of existence, make the doing of something worthy a noble manhood or womanhood the object of your ambition. Strive to make yourself worthy to be the best president your club has ever had; endeavor to be the finest equipped, mentally, for the work that is to be done, whether you are chosen to do it or not, and keep on, and on, and still on, finding your joy in the work, in the benefit it is to yourself, in the power it is storing up within you.
Then, as sure as the sun shines, the time will come when you will be chosen to do the needed work. “Your own will come to you.” Nothing can hinder it. It will flow as certainly into your hands as the waters of the river flow into the sea.
ENVY AND WORRY
Envy is a prolific source of worry. Once allow this demon of unrest to fasten itself in one’s vitals, and worry claims every waking hour. Envy is that peculiar demon of discontent that cannot see the abilities, attainments, achievements, or possessions of another without malicious determination to belittle, deride, make light of, or absolutely deny their existence, while all the time covetously craving them for itself. Andrew Tooke pictures Envy as a vile female:
A deadly paleness in her cheek was seen;
Her meager skeleton scarce cased with skin;
Her looks awry; an everlasting scowl
Sits on her brow; her teeth deform’d and foul;
Her breast had gall more than her breast could hold;
Beneath her tongue coats of poison roll’d;
No smile e’er smooth’d her furrow’d brow but those
Which rose from laughing at another’s woes;
Her eyes were strangers to the sweets of sleep,
Devouring spite for ever waking keep;
She sees bless’d men with vast success crown’d,
Their joys distract her, and their glories wound;
She kills abroad, herself’s consum’d at home,
And her own crimes are her perpetual martyrdom.
Ever watching, with bloodshot eyes, the good things of others, she hates them for their possessions, longs to possess them herself, lets her covetousness gnaw hourly at her very vitals, and yet, in conversation with others, slays with slander, vile innuendo, and falsehood, the reputation of those whose virtues she covets.