Being and Doing – 15 January – True Happiness
IT should be kept clearly before the mind that human life is not intended for joy, or for softly moving with the current of events, but for manly effort, for the exercising of faculty; that is to say, for the application of will-power, under the guidance of conscience. And no one has ever striven to do thoroughly the commonest duty of life, but he has added to the moral forces of the world. And in the words of Professor Mason: ‘No heroic deed ever perishes, no human soul was ever moved to the transcendent test of death for the poorest shred of supposed truth, but there passed a thrill of new power into the whole will and thought of the world.’ For it is personal virtues that enkindle virtues in others, heroic example that most surely rouses heroic emulation in the souls of men.
…True heroism is spiritual energy, force of conscience, strength of affection.
MAN is fit to have some higher raison d’être than simply to be happy, even with the most refined sense of happiness. There must be something for him to do, something for him to suffer, something for him to sacrifice himself for, if he is to attain to his fullest development, as well as something for him to have and enjoy.
Mere happiness is in itself an insufficient aim. Devotion to some cause gives us a motive beyond this, and raises us to a means, which (in a world where there is so much to be done) is far nobler than to be an end.
These quotes are from ‘Being and Doing’ A selection of helpful thoughts from various authors arranged for daily reading.
Collected by Constance M Whishaw and first published in 1908 for members of the Being and Doing Guild whose object is to do all they can for the relief of suffering and misery.
Most of the writers are 19th Century Christians from Britain and Europe who were committed to living their faith through deeds as well as words – Being AND Doing.
For many years these words have kept me company and encouraged me on the journey of faith. I hope they will encourage others also.