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A Summing Up
Source: Nerves And Common Sense
GIVE up resentment, give up unhealthy resistance.
If circumstances, or persons, arouse either resentment or resistance
in us, let us ignore the circumstances or persons until we have
quieted ourselves. Freedom does not come from merely yielding out of
resentment or unhealthy resistance, it comes also from the strong
and steady focus on such yielding. _Concentration and relaxation are
just as necessary one to another to give stability to the nerves of
a man--as the centrifugal and centripetal forces are necessary to
give stability to the Earth._
As the habit of healthy concentration and relaxation grows within
us, our perception clears so that we see what is right to do, and
are given the power to do it. As our freedom from bondage to our
fellowmen becomes established, our relation to our fellowmen grows
happier, more penetrating and more full of life, and later we come
to understand that at root it is ourselves--our own resentment and
resistance--to which we have been in bondage,--circumstances or
other people have had _really_ nothing to do with it. When we have
made that discovery, and are steadily acting upon it, we are free
indeed, and with this new liberty there grows a clear sense and
conviction of a wise, loving Power which, while leaving us our own
free will, is always tenderly guiding us.
No one ever really believed anything without experiencing it. We may
think we believe all sorts of beautiful truths, but how can any
truth be really ours unless we have proved it by living? We do not
fully believe it until it runs in our blood--that is--we must see a
truth with our minds, love it with our hearts and live it over and
over again in our lives before it is ours.
If the reader will think over this little book--he will see that
every chapter has healthy yielding at the root of it. It is a
constant repetition of the same principle applied to the commonplace
circumstances of life, and if the reader will take this principle
into his mind, and work practically to live it in his life, he will
find the love for it growing in his heart, and with it a living
conviction that when truly applied, it always works.
Some one once described the difference between good breeding and bad
breeding as that between a man who works as a matter of course to
conquer his limitations--and a, man to whom his limitations are
There is spiritual good breeding and natural good breeding. The
first comes from the achievement of personal character--the second
is born with us--to use or misuse as we prefer.
It is a happy thing to realize that our freedom from bondage to
circumstances, and our loving, intelligent freedom from other
people, is the true spiritual good breeding which gives vitality to
every action of our lives, and brings us into more real and closer
touch with our fellow-men. Courtesy is alive when it has genuine
love of all human nature at the root of it--it is dead when it is
merely a matter of good form.
In so far as I know, the habit of such freedom and good breeding
cannot be steadily sustained without an absolute, conscious
dependence upon the Lord God Almighty.
Previous: Plain Every-day Common Sense