A human being becomes human not through the casual convergence of certain biological conditions, but through an act of will and love on the part of other people. ~ Italo Calvino
Is it raining, little flower?
Be glad of rain.
Too much sun would wither thee,
‘Twill shine again.
The sky is very black, ’tis true,
But just behind it shines
Art thou weary, tender heart?
Be glad of pain;
In sorrow the sweetest things will grow
As flowers in the rain.
God watches and thou wilt have sun
When clouds their perfect work
The joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. ~ Whittier
Are your nerves keeping you up at night? “When my mind starts racing in bed, I think about the next day’s challenges. Then, I take long breaths, thinking, Breathe in, breathe out,” says Olympic swimmer Rebecca Soni. “It takes practice, but if you do it regularly, your body learns how to relax.”Source
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!—
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
What of the outer drear,
As long as there’s inner light;
As long as the sun of cheer
Shines ardently bright?
As long as the soul’s a-wing,
As long as the heart is true,
What power hath trouble to bring
A sorrow to you?
No bar can encage the soul,
Nor capture the spirit free,
As long as old earth shall roll,
Or hours shall be.
Our world is the world within,
Our life is the thought we take,
And never an outer sin
Can mar it or break.
Brood not on the rich man’s land,
Sigh not for miser’s gold,
Holding in reach of your hand
The treasure untold
That lies in the Mines of Heart,
That rests in the soul alone—
Bid worry and care depart,
Come into your own!
John Kendrick Bangs
How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it’s an easy word,
And where’er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?
You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?
Don’t boast of your grit till you’ve tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it’s easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there’s a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you’re all alone.
How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.
It’s bully sport and it’s open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you’ll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there’s something you’ve tried to quit.