When it is honestly and compassionately practiced, candor has a cleansing effect on our relationships. We spend so much time being superficial with one another, our relationships become dingy. But a little heart-to-heart candor makes them shine.
Experience has probably taught us that we can’t be negligent in the small matters of daily living and still shine on the big occasions. So the more important our goals are, the more it helps us to be meticulous, even in the little things.
If life is to be tasted with any joy, it must be tasted daily — in the unexpected and unplanned pleasures of home, hearth, and honorable work. These pleasures are not unmixed with sorrow, but they are very real. And they were meant to be enjoyed.
If we never support anyone but our friends, we aren’t doing anything more than a criminal would do. Wouldn’t it be better to rise above this limited kind of support and learn to be encouraging and helpful to all those within our circle of influence?
An accurate statement is one that conforms to fact and reality. It should be obvious, then, that our words should be as accurate as we can make them. When we describe something we know or saw or experienced, the report should be trustworthy.
Trying to “make the world a better place” is good, but the real value of restoration is in working on ourselves. We’re fighting a losing battle if, while restoring restoring the external world, we neglect the restoration of our own hearts and minds.
There are some important truths that need to be known by everybody, and we help ourselves greatly by studying to learn these truths. To neglect “the development and refinement of the mind” (Cicero) is to make a mistake that we will come to regret.
Having forgiven someone, resentments will creep back into our minds sometimes, and the decision to forgive may have to be remade many times. This is hard work. But if we take the easy way out and wallow in bitterness, we sell ourselves into bondage.
There is much to be said for becoming an interested person, one who is interested in what is around him or her. And how interesting we find the world is determined by a choice that we make — the choice to go out and engage life inquisitively!
There is no worse helper than the person who thinks he never needs any help. Effective helpers humble themselves. The right to help others has to be earned, and one of the principal ways we earn it is by being willing to receive help.