Like many worthwhile things, the development of character takes time. It can’t be done in one day. In fact, when we see it properly, we recognize that it’s a lifetime process. No matter how long we live, our character still needs some development.
We need not only strength, but wisdom — not only freedom, but government. For those times when we can’t see for ourselves that “enough is enough,” we need the help of limits, those signposts of various kinds that simply say, “Here, but no further.”
Good work is a blessing. If we’ll think of our work rightly, there’s a good chance we’ll want to enter into it appreciatively and energetically. Adding value by giving honest effort is a thing we’ll find satisfying and, yes, even enjoyable.
Not everything that a person might “express” needs to see the light of day, and before I create anything, I need to ask myself the question: will this expression of myself make a positive contribution to those around me or will it pollute them?
We move in the direction of our ideals. So, as the old-timers used to say, we need to be careful what we want, because we’re apt to get it. Our inventiveness can be counted on to get us to our goals; the only question is whether our goals are worthy.
If we’re actively engaged with life, we’ll make some delightful discoveries in the course of trying out new approaches. We’ll be willing to experiment, just like the curious child who says, “I wonder what would happen if you did it this way?”
Cut off from the clarity of things in the natural world, our minds are fed primarily by the flickering images on computer monitors, televisions, and movie screens. Yet these media can never show more than a vague representation of original reality.
It would be an unhealthy person indeed who had no concern for his own wants and needs. But selflessness means that we’re willing to sacrifice for the good of others and that our own desires are filled up only when we’re willing to pour them out.
Each of us is unique, and we have the ability to add reinforcing strength to other people’s lives. Because we’re different, the strengths we impart to one another will always come from a different “angle” than what was already in that person’s life.
If I could choose only one life to live, I’d rather be a country bumpkin any day, easily and enjoyably amazed at the simplest of things, than to be a sophisticated man-about-town who’s outlived his enthusiasm for the wonders of the everyday world.