It is indeed! Kind words should be brought into more general use. Those in authority should employ them more frequently, when addressing the less fortunate among mankind. Employers should use them in their intercourse with their workmen. Parents should utter them on every occasion to their children. The rich should never forget an opportunity of speaking kindly to the poor. Neighbours and friends should emulate each other in the employment of mild, gentle, frank, and kindly language. But this cannot be done unless each endeavours to control himself. Our passions and our prejudices must be kept in check. If we find that we have a neighbour on the other side of the way, who has been more fortunate in a worldly sense than we have been, and if we discover a little jealousy or envy creeping into our opinions and feelings concerning said neighbour—let us be careful, endeavour to put a rein upon our tongues, and to avoid the indulgence of malevolence or ill-will. If we, on the other hand, have been fortunate, have enough and to spare, and there happens to be in our circle some who are dependent upon us, some who look up to us with love and respect—let us be generous, courteous, and kind—and thus we shall not only discharge a duty, but prove a source of happiness to others.
MOST people think there are cares enough in the world, and yet many are very industrious to increase them:—One of the readiest ways of doing this is to quarrel with a neighbour. A bad bargain may vex a man for a week, and a bad debt may trouble him for a month; but a quarrel with his neighbours will keep him in hot water all the year round.
Aaron Hands delights in fowls, and his cocks and hens are always scratching up the flowerbeds of his neighbour William Wilkes, whose mischievous tom-cat every now and then runs off with a chicken. The consequence is, that William Wilkins is one half the day occupied in driving away the fowls, and threatening to screw their long ugly necks off; while Aaron Hands, in his periodical outbreaks, invariably vows to skin his neighbour’s cat, as sure as he can lay hold of him.
Neighbours! Neighbours! Why can you not be at peace? Not all the fowls you can rear, and the flowers you can grow, will make amends for a life of anger, hatred, malice, and uncharitableness. Come to some kind-hearted understanding one with another, and dwell in peace.
Upton, the refiner, has a smoky chimney, that sets him and all the neighbourhood by the ears. The people around abuse him without mercy, complaining that they are poisoned, and declaring that they will indict him at the sessions. Upton fiercely sets them at defiance, on the ground that his premises were built before theirs, that his chimney did not come to them, but that they came to his chimney.
Neighbours! Neighbours! practise a little more forbearance. Had half a dozen of you waited on the refiner in a kindly spirit, he would years ago have so altered his chimney, that it would not have annoyed you.