As you read the newspapers and view television, it is obvious that a great change is taking place, not only in this country but all over the world. There is an unrest among those who work hard and can’t think about the future. This idea is well-expressed by Robert W. Castle, Jr., an Episcopalian minister, whose writings appear in the wonderful book, Say Amen, by the Rev. Chestina Mitchell Archibald:
I am tired of hearing about how the rich work hard to get rich and how hard the affluent work to stay affluent.
Now that a damn lie, Lord.
If hard work—real labor—
Getting up early, and coming home exhausted at night,
Is some kind of great virtue and make you affluent,
Then, Lord, I’ve got to tell you the poor would all be rich,
Only the poor work hard, Lord—in lousy junkyards, sweatshops, laundries, emptying bedpans—
I see the poor walking and getting on buses to go to work
at 6:00 A.M.
Not the affluent.
It’s the poor who come home tired and dirty.
The poor don’t have two or three hour lunches, or vacations, or bonuses, or benefits, or decent and safe surroundings to work in.
And when you’re poor, Lord, somebody is watching to see if you’re working all the time.
Are you watching too, Lord?
I hope you are.
I would also like to quote some great minds who have expressed meaningful thoughts for survival:
“Life is not lost by dying! Life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand, small, uncaring ways.”
Stephen Vincent Benét 1898-1943, American poet and author
“Don’t believe the world owes you a living: the world owes you nothing—it was here first.”
Robert Jones Burdette, 1844-1941, American Baptist clergyman and humorist
“Life is an exciting business and most exciting when it is lived for others.”
Helen Keller, 1880-1968, American author and lecturer who lost both her sight and hearing at the age of 19 months
“Live as if you expected to live a hundred years but might die tomorrow.”
Ann Lee 1736-1784, American religious mystic
Life is like eating artichokes—you’ve got to go through so much to get so little.”
Thomas Dorgan, 1869-1956, American publisher
“Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need…. I live more simply now, and with more peace.”
Richard Evelyn Byrd 1888-1957, American polar explorer
“Life does not count by years. Some suffer a lifetime in a day, and so grow old between the rising and the setting of the sun.”
Augusta Jane Evans, 1835-1909, American novelist
“The fear of life is the favorite disease of the 20th century.”
William Lyon Phelps, 1865-1943, American educator
“A little work, a little sleep, a little love and it is all over.”
Mary Roberts Rinehart, 1876-1958, American fiction writer
“The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.”
Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, 26th President of the United States
“Life is a shadow of God.”
Plato, 427-347 BC, Greek philosopher
“I never could explain why I love anybody or anything.”
Walt Whitman, American poet, 1819-1892
After reading the above quotes by many great men and women who have occupied this planet, I hope you will be able to fill in your own expression of your life. Have a thoughtful and blessed New Year.
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