As the habit of healthy concentration and relaxation grows within us, our perception clears so that we see what is right to do, and are given the power to do it. As our freedom from bondage to our fellowmen becomes established, our relation to our fellowmen grows happier, more penetrating and more full of life, and later we come to understand that at root it is ourselves—our own resentment and resistance—to which we have been in bondage,—circumstances or other people have had really nothing to do with it. When we have made that discovery, and are steadily acting upon it, we are free indeed, and with this new liberty there grows a clear sense and conviction of a wise, loving Power which, while leaving us our own free will, is always tenderly guiding us.
No one ever really believed anything without experiencing it. We may think we believe all sorts of beautiful truths, but how can any truth be really ours unless we have proved it by living? We do not fully believe it until it runs in our blood—that is—we must see a truth with our minds, love it with our hearts and live it over and over again in our lives before it is ours.
If the reader will think over this little book—he will see that every chapter has healthy yielding at the root of it. It is a constant repetition of the same principle applied to the commonplace circumstances of life, and if the reader will take this principle into his mind, and work practically to live it in his life, he will find the love for it growing in his heart, and with it a living conviction that when truly applied, it always works.
Some one once described the difference between good breeding and bad breeding as that between a man who works as a matter of course to conquer his limitations—and a, man to whom his limitations are inevitable.
There is spiritual good breeding and natural good breeding. The first comes from the achievement of personal character—the second is born with us—to use or misuse as we prefer.
It is a happy thing to realize that our freedom from bondage to circumstances, and our loving, intelligent freedom from other people, is the true spiritual good breeding which gives vitality to every action of our lives, and brings us into more real and closer touch with our fellow-men. Courtesy is alive when it has genuine love of all human nature at the root of it—it is dead when it is merely a matter of good form.
In so far as I know, the habit of such freedom and good breeding cannot be steadily sustained without an absolute, conscious dependence upon the Lord God Almighty.