Being and Doing – 3 May – Commonplace People
SHE was intolerant of those who find life dull, as well as of those who find their fellow-creatures unattractive, and both for the same reason, holding that such indifference was due to the lack of vital energy and generosity in the complainer, since the same world held interests enough for those who have enough impulses and affections of their own to entangle themselves in its affairs…. She thought that there was much needed doing in the world, and criticism of our neighbours, and of the natural order might wait, at all events, till the critic’s own character and conduct were free from blame… It was unhelpful criticism that stirred her anger…. She felt so strongly that there was a worse and a better, almost at every turn in every life; and this being so, since it was in the power of human beings again and again to help each other to prefer and reach the better; the continuous passive dwelling upon all the possibilities of evil, whether in resentment or in despair, assumed in her eyes the shape of a folly closely verging on crime… Surely the only true knowledge of our fellow-man is that which enables us to feel with him, which gives us a fine ear for the heart-pulses that are beating under the mere clothes of circumstances and opinion.
From a Review on George Eliot.
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.