Few Master the Fine Art of Living
Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues although they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Alexander broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive, for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unI historic facts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who faithfully lived a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs.”—George Eliot.
How often we are all in danger of forgetting that just living is a fine art and that success in it brings results as great and wonderful as success in any fine art.
One man writes a book and another “makes a family happier by his presence.” Who shall say which has done the greater thing, which could have less easily been spared by the world?
I heard one woman admiring and envying another because she is able to write beautiful poetry, and thus help and inspire many people.
The first woman is a successful wife and mother. Many people love her and she is necessary to many people’s happiness. How can she possibly dare to belittle her part in the world’s work?
We carry on our worship of popularity with a strange, unjustifiable sense of shame, while we think it a matter of course to praise brains. And yet to have a personality which inspires love wherever it is known is surely as great a thing as to have a clever mind.
But, you say, the writer of the beautiful poem; the artist who paints a fine picture, the great teacher, touch so many more lives than those whose only sphere of influence is the home and the small home circle. Granted. But do not forget to compare also the depth of this influence. How often does a picture, however wonderful, a poem, however inspired, a teaching, however splendid, really affect a life as deeply and powerfully as some other life intimately connected with it does?
Surely it is logical that the value of any influence is equal to the product of its depth and breadth. And if the breadth of the. conspicuous kind of influence is vastly greater, its depth is vastly less. If the breadth of the humble kind of influence is infinitely less, its depth is infinitely greater, so that the product in either case is much the same.
To be lovable is as great a gift as the power to write.
To master the fine art of living is as great a triumph as to paint a wonderful picture. To be necessary to the happiness of those about you is as great an accomplishment as to be necessary to some great undertaking.
It there is power in you, if you have ‘”a finely touched spirit, never fear lest a repressive situation –hall prevent it from great results.
That’s no more possible than for a river to stop flowing. It may flow “like that river of which Alexander broke the strength, in channels which have no great name on earth.” but it must and will flow, and since such energy is undying, flow on forever.