Verse of the Day
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
Ephesians 4:25 NIV
Taking Your Fun Every Day as You Do Your Work.
Posted: 21 May 2016 01:31 PM PDT
Ten things are necessary for happiness in this life, the first being a good digestion, and the other nine,--money; so at least it is said by our modern philosophers. Yet the author of "A Gentle Life" speaks more truly in saying that the Divine creation includes thousands of superfluous joys which are totally unnecessary to the bare support of life.
He alone is the happy man who has learned to extract happiness, not from ideal conditions, but from the actual ones about him. The man who has mastered the secret will not wait for ideal surroundings; he will not wait until next year, next decade, until he gets rich, until he can travel abroad, until he can afford to surround himself with works of the great masters; but he will make the most out of life to-day, where he is.
"Why thus longing, thus forever sighing,
For the far-off, unattained and dim,
While the beautiful, all round thee lying,
Offers up its low, perpetual hymn?
"Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call to-day his own;
He who, secure within himself, can say:
'To-morrow, do thy worst, for I have lived to-day!'"
Paradise is here or nowhere: you must take your joy with you or you will never find it.
It is after business hours, not in them, that we break down. We must, like Philip Armour, turn the key on business when we leave it, and at once unlock the doors of some wholesome recreation. Dr. Lyman Beecher used to divert himself with a violin. He had a regular system of what he called "unwinding," thus relieving the great strain put upon him.
"A man," says Dr. Johnson, "should spend part of his time with the laughers."
Humor was Lincoln's life-preserver, as it has been of thousands of others. "If it were not for this," he used to say, "I should die." His jests and quaint stories lighted the gloom of dark hours of national peril.
"Next to virtue," said Agnes Strickland, "the fun in this world is what we can least spare."
"When the harness is off," said Judge Haliburton, "a critter likes to kick up his heels."
"I have fun from morning till night," said the editor Charles A. Dana to a friend who was growing prematurely old. "Do you read novels, and play billiards, and walk a great deal?"
Gladstone early formed a habit of looking on the bright side of things, and never lost a moment's sleep by worrying about public business.
There are many out-of-door sports, and the very presence of nature is to many a great joy. How true it is that, if we are cheerful and contented, all nature smiles with us,--the air seems more balmy, the sky more clear, the earth has a brighter green, the trees have a richer foliage, the flowers are more fragrant, the birds sing more sweetly, and the sun, moon, and stars all appear more beautiful. "It is a grand thing to live, to open the eyes in the morning and look out upon the world, to drink in the pure air and enjoy the sweet sunshine, to feel the pulse bound, and the being thrill with the consciousness of strength and power in every nerve; it is a good thing simply to be alive, and it is a good world we live in, in spite of the abuse we are fond of giving it."
"I love to hear the bee sing amid the blossoms sunny;
To me his drowsy melody is sweeter than his honey:
For, while the shades are shifting
Along the path to noon,
My happy brain goes drifting
To dreamland on his tune.
"I love to hear the wind blow amid the blushing petals,
And when a fragile flower falls, to watch it as it settles;
And view each leaflet falling
Upon the emerald turf,
With idle mind recalling
The bubbles on the surf.
"I love to lie upon the grass, and let my glances wander
Earthward and skyward there; while peacefully I ponder
How much of purest pleasure
Earth holds for his delight
Who takes life's cup to measure
Naught but its blessings bright."
Upon every side of us are to be found what one has happily called--UNWORKED JOY MINES. And he who goes "prospecting" to see what he can daily discover is a wise man, training his eye to see beauty in everything and everywhere.
"One ought, every day," says Goethe, "at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." And if this be good for one's self, why not try the song, the poem, the picture, and the good words, on some one else?
Shall music and poetry die out of you while you are struggling for that which can never enrich the character, nor add to the soul's worth? Shall a disciplined imagination fill the mind with beautiful pictures? He who has intellectual resources to fall back upon will not lack for daily recreation most wholesome.
It was a remark of Archbishop Whately that we ought not only to cultivate the cornfields of the mind, but the pleasure-grounds also. A well-balanced life is a cheerful life; a happy union of fine qualities and unruffled temper, a clear judgment, and well-proportioned faculties.
In a corner of his desk, Lincoln kept a copy of the latest humorous work; and it was frequently his habit, when fatigued, annoyed, or depressed, to take this up, and read a chapter with great relief. Clean, sensible wit, or sheer nonsense,--anything to provoke mirth and make a man jollier,--this, too, is a gift from Heaven.
In the world of books, what is grand and inspiring may easily become a part of every man's life. A fondness for good literature, for good fiction, for travel, for history, and for biography,--what is better than this?
Orison Swett Marden