Many years ago I learned a quote, “You can’t do wrong by doing right.” Today, I learned it was from a recording by Phil Harris in 1949. And doesn’t it just make so much sense when given some thought; maybe it should become a motto for this new year. Trying always to do the right thing instead of the wrong thing could be a first step towards a better world.
Trouble is too many of us think we’re right when we know we’re wrong. There’s a great scripture that reflects on this very thing: Romans 12:2…Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. How many leaders do we know that need to heed this advice? How many of us need to heed this advice? It made a huge difference in my life when I put it into practice in the 1970’s and I’m still working on it.
Here’s another quote that deserves to be taken into consideration…”always show people you care”…is that right or wrong?
Getting The Most Out of Life. A selection of personally helpful articles from past issues of The Readers Digest is the sub-title of this book, published in 1955. It belonged to my mother and has been in my possession since her death in 1972.
Because I love to learn life lessons every day, books like this keep me on the right track. Among its many chapters is one written by A. Cressy Morrison (1864-1951) an American chemist and one time president of the New York Academy of Sciences. The thought provoking chapter is called Seven Reasons Why A Scientist Believes In God and is condensed from his book “Man Does Not Stand Alone”. Morrison makes a compelling case. “By unwavering mathematical law we can prove that our universe was designed and executed by a great engineering Intelligence.”
Other chapters include:
When It’s Best to Forget…W.E.Sangster “No man should hope to forget the wrong things he’s done till he has done also whatever he can to put them right.”
Stop Worrying…A.J.Cronin “For worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow; it only saps today of its strength”.
On Being A Real Person…Harry Emerson Fosdick, D.D. “The central business of every human being is to be a real person.”
Three Steps to Personal Peace…Norman Vincent Peale, D.D. “As Thomas Carlyle said; ‘Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.'”
Your Mind Can Keep You Young…George Lawton “At 80 you can be just as productive mentally as you were at 30–and you should know a lot more. Older people frequently suffer some loss of memory, but creative imagination is ageless…take an interest in the world around you and make a point of learning at least one new thing every day.”
I have gleaned a lot from this book over the years and, believe it or not, it is still available. I saw it on Amazon for various prices depending on its condition. It really is an oldie but goodie.
It is a sad time for many people who have lost loved ones very recently. No one can know the depths of another’s grief; no one can feel another’s aching feeling of loss; no one can bear another’s pain.
Life and death are caught up in each other’s shadow, in that death is a part of life and life is a continuation of death. Christmas is a very difficult time of year to have to face this reality. But then, is there ever a good time? I think not. Loss is loss whenever it occurs.
It has saddened my own heart to hear of the recent passing of two lovely ladies; one I have known for over sixty years, and the other I met just a few years ago. Both were, and are near and dear to their families and close friends. Both have left a gaping hole in the hearts of many.
Ecclesiastes says it best in chapter three, verse (1) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: (2) a time to be born and a time to die, (4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,. (NIV)
Laughing and dancing will not be on the agenda of some of us this holiday season, but we will honor the lives of these two ladies and be sure to include them in the memories of Christmases past.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4.