The Majesty of Calmness
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I'm so glad I gave this a listen. I finished it without pause. I was mesmerized by the simple, logical explanations fed through gorgeous wording. I hope you give this an hour and twenty minutes. You won't regret it! Chapter I have listened and kept on listening, returning to this. Enjoyable and inspirational. This self-reliance is not the self-sufficiency of conceit. It is daring to stand alone. Be an oak, not a vine. Be ready to give support, but do not crave it; do not be dependent on it. To develop your true self- reliance, you must see from the very beginning that life is a battle you must fight for yourself, — you must be your own soldier.
You cannot buy a substitute, you cannot win a reprieve, you can never be placed on the retired list. The retired list of life is, — death. The world is busy with its own cares, sorrows and joys, and pays little heed to you. There is but one great password to success, — self-reliance.
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If you would learn to converse, put yourself into positions where you must speak. If you would conquer your morbidness, mingle with the bright people around you, no matter how difficult it may be. If you desire the power that some one else possesses, do not envy his strength, and dissipate your energy by weakly wishing his force were yours. Emulate the process by which it became his, depend on your self- reliance, pay the price for it, and equal power may be yours. The individual must look upon himself as an investment, of untold possibilities if rightly developed, — a mine whose resources can never be known but by going down into it and bringing out what is hidden.
Man can develop his self-reliance by seeking constantly to surpass himself.
We try too much to surpass others. If we seek ever to surpass ourselves, we are moving on a uniform line of progress, that gives a harmonious unifying to our growth in all its parts. Daniel Morrell, at one time President of the Cambria Rail Works, that employed 7, men and made a rail famed throughout the world, was asked the secret of the great success of the works. There is a tendency to sacrifice real worth to mere appearance, to have seeming rather than reality.
But the true competition is the competition of the individual with himself, — his present seeking to excel his past. This means real growth from -within. Self-reliance develops it, and it develops self-reliance. Let the individual feel thus as to his own progress and possibilities, and he can almost create his life as he will. Let him never fall down in despair at dangers and sorrows at a distance; they may be harmless, like Bunyan's stone lions, when he nears them.
The man who is self-reliant does not live in the shadow of some one else's greatness; he thinks for himself, depends on himself, and acts for himself. In throwing the individual thus back upon himself it is not shutting his eyes to the stimulus and light and new life that come -with the warm pressure of the hand, the kindly -word and the sincere expressions of true friendship.
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But true friendship is rare; its great value is in a crisis, — like a lifeboat. Many a boasted friend has proved a leaking, worthless "lifeboat" when the storm of adversity might make him useful. In these great crises of life, man is strong only as he is strong from within, The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan 1 14 and the more he depends on himself the stronger -will he become, and the more able will he be to help others in the hour of their need. His very life will be a constant help and a strength to others, as he becomes to them a living lesson of the dignity of self-reliance.
The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan 1 1 5 Failure as a Success It ofttimes requires heroic courage to face fruitless effort, to take up the broken strands of a life-work, to look bravely toward the future, and proceed undaunted on our way. But what, to our eyes, may seem hopeless failure is often but the dawning of a greater success.
It may contain in its debris the foundation material of a mighty purpose, or the revelation of new and higher possibilities. Some years ago, it was proposed to send logs from Canada to New York, by a new method. The ingenious plan of Mr.
The Majesty of Calmness
Joggins was to bind great logs together by cables and iron girders and to tow the cargo as a raft. When the novel craft neared New York and success seemed assured, a terrible storm arose. In the fury of the tempest, the iron bands snapped like icicles and the angry waters scattered the logs far and wide.
The chief of the Hydrographic Department at Washington heard of the failure of the experiment, and at once sent word to shipmasters the world over, urging them to watch carefully for these logs which he described: and to note the precise location of each in latitude and longitude and the time the P observation was made. Hundreds of captains, sailing over the waters of the earth, noted the logs, in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Mediterranean, in the South Seas, — for into all waters did these venturesome ones travel. Hundreds of reports were made, covering a period of weeks and months.
These observations were then carefully collated, systematized and tabulated, and discoveries were made as to the course of ocean currents that otherwise would have been impossible. The loss of the Joggins raft was not a real failure, for it led to one of the great discoveries in modern marine geography and navigation.
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In our superior knowledge we are disposed to speak in a patronizing tone of the follies of the alchemists of old. But their failure to transmute the baser metals into gold resulted in the birth of chemistry. They did not succeed in -what they attempted, but they brought into vogue the natural processes of sublimation, filtration, distillation, and crystallization; they invented the alembic, the retort, the sand-bath, the water-bath and other valuable instruments.
To them is due the discovery of antimony, sulphuric ether and phosphorus, the cupellation of gold and silver, the determining of the properties of saltpetre and its use in gunpowder, and the discovery of the distillation of essential oils. This was the success of failure, a wondrous process of Nature for the highest growth, — a mighty lesson of comfort, strength, and encouragement if man -would only realize and accept it.
The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan 1 1 6 Many of our failures sweep us to greater heights of success, than we ever hoped for in our wildest dreams. Life is a successive unfolding of success from failure. In discovering America Columbus failed absolutely. His ingenious reasoning and experiment led him to believe that by sailing westward he would reach India.
Every red man in America carries in his name "Indian", the perpetuation of the memory of the failure of Columbus. The Genoese navigator did not reach India; the cargo of "souvenirs" he took back to Spain to show to Ferdinand and Isabella as proofs of his success, really attested his failure. But the discovery of America was a greater success than was any finding of a "back-door" to India. When David Livingstone had supplemented his theological education by a medical course, he was ready to enter the missionary field.
For over three years he had studied tirelessly, with all energies concentrated on one aim, — to spread the gospel in China. The hour came when he was ready to start out with noble enthusiasm for his chosen work, to consecrate himself and his life to his unselfish ambition. Then -word came from China that the "opium war" -would make it folly to attempt to enter the country. Disappointment and failure did not long daunt him; he offered himself as missionary to Africa, — and he was accepted.
His glorious failure to reach China opened a whole continent to light and truth. His study proved an ideal preparation for his labors as physician, explorer, teacher and evangel in the wilds of Africa. Business reverses and the failure of his partner threw upon the broad shoulders and the still broader honor and honesty of Sir Walter Scott a burden of responsibility that forced him to write. The failure spurred him to almost super-human effort. The masterpieces of Scotch historic fiction that have thrilled, entertained and uplifted millions of his fellow-men are a glorious monument on the field of a seeming failure.
When Millet, the painter of the "Angelus" -worked on his almost divine canvas, in which the very air seems pulsing with the regenerating essence of spiritual reverence, he was painting against time, he was antidoting sorrow, he was racing against death. His brush strokes, put on in the early morning hours before going to his menial duties as a railway porter, in the dusk like that perpetuated on his canvas, — meant strength, food and medicine for the dying wife he adored. The art failure that cast him into the depths of poverty unified with marvellous intensity all the finer elements of his nature.
This rare spiritual unity, this purging of all the dross of triviality as he passed through the furnace of poverty, trial, and sorrow gave eloquence to his brush and enabled him to paint as never before, — as no prosperity would have made possible. Failure is often the turning-point, the pivot of circumstance that swings us to higher levels.
It may not be financial success, it may not be fame; it may be new draughts of spiritual, The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan 1 1 7 moral or mental inspiration that will change us for all the later years of our life. Life is not really what comes to us, but what we get from it. Whether man has had wealth or poverty, failure or success, counts for little when it is past. There is but one question for him to answer, to face boldly and honestly as an individual alone with his conscience and his destiny: "How will I let that poverty or wealth affect me?
If that trial or deprivation has left me better, truer, nobler, then, — poverty has been riches, failure has been a success. If wealth has come to me and has made me vain, arrogant, contemptuous, uncharitable, cynical, closing from me all the tenderness of life, all the channels of higher development, of possible good to my fellow-man, making me the mere custodian of a money-bag, then, — -wealth has lied to me, it has been failure, not success; it has not been riches, it has been dark, treacherous poverty that stole from me even Myself.
Failure is one of God's educators. It is experience leading man to higher things; it is the revelation of a way, a path hitherto unknown to us. The best men in the world, those who have made the greatest real successes look back with serene happiness on their failures. The turning of the face of Time shows all things in a wondrously illuminated and satisfying perspective. Many a man is thankful to-day that some petty success for which he once struggled, melted into thin air as his hand sought to clutch it.
Failure is often the rock-bottom foundation of real success. If man, in a few instances of his life can say, "Those failures were the best things in the world that could have happened to me," should he not face new failures with undaunted courage and trust that the miraculous ministry of Nature may transform these new stumbling-blocks into new stepping-stones?
Our highest hopes, are often destroyed to prepare us for better things. The failure of the caterpillar is the birth of the butterfly; the passing of the bud is the becoming of the rose; the death or destruction of the seed is the prelude to its resurrection as wheat. It is at night, in the darkest hours, those preceding dawn, that plants grow best, that they most increase in size. May this not be one of Nature's gentle showings to man of the times when he grows best, of the darkness of failure that is evolving into the sunlight of success.
Let us fear only the failure of not living the right as we see it, leaving the results to the guardianship of the Infinite. If we think of any supreme moment of our lives, any great success, any one who is dear to us, and then consider how we reached that moment, that success, that friend, we will be The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan 1 1 8 surprised and strengthened by the revelation.