Sunday, August 25, 2013

Words of Wisdom by Richard Hardy

Happy Birthday, Richard.

Richard had a lot of thoughts that he tried to live by.  This was a contribution that he gave to a monthly letter when he was a young missionary.
     I have often told myself how wonderful it is to be independent.  Independent in thought, action, and in all the daily dealings with our fellow men.  To be independent is to be self-sufficient.  To provide your own living expenses, to drive your own car, to have more knowledge and more experience than those whom you contact, all these things, contribute to a feeling of independence.

     From early childhood our goal in life seems to be independence.  First we try to break the ties to our parents and from there we gradually increase our independence until we need no council, need no friends, need to accept help from no one and are not obliged to help anyone.

      At one time or another every soul that comes to the earth realizes that we are inherently dependent.  The greatness of the individual is in direct proportion to the degree that he accepts his dependence.  The great souls are those who need love and therefore give it to others, those who need council and therefore give it without reprisal.  Jesus Christ, the greatest of all, never spoke one thing that his Father didn't tell him to speak (John 12:49-50.
     When we remember that we are dependent on others and that others are dependent on us, then and only then, do we gain a true perspective to fulfill our calling.

     The very best lesson that can be learned beyond perhaps faith in God himself, is to enjoy what you're doing, the people you're with, the place you're in , and not to let life be postponed, for the happiness you have has to be today.  As expressed by the poet, "At every dawn I say, if not today, my joy will come to me tomorrow, and hoping for delight dawn becomes night till thus deceived I find unto my sorrow at last that hoping for tomorrow my life has passed."

     We should do what we are alive to do today, and should do it by divine guidance.  This guidance can best be gained by having charity for others and making a real effort to understand their problems.

     Arthur Snitchler in "Vanity Fair" tells us, "The world would be better off if every believer did not feel himself superior to the doubter in nobility of soul, and every doubter did not have the same attitude toward the believer on the score of intelligence.  The doubters can be imbeciles, and believers can be scoundrels, and vice versa." As Shakespeare said, "A man may smile and smile and be a villain still." A man may be a leader and a missionary, and a girl may be apparently a pillar of truth and light, and act like she knows how to handle herself, and it may appear that she's really qualified to be emulated and loved and admired, and she may not be, and he may not be.

     May the Lord bless us to be what we are, to do what we have to do today, and to do it with charity and a feeling of dependence on our Father in Heaven.

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