Nothing is more distorting to judgment, more despoiling in the long run to happiness of heart, than the habit of looking at things from a petty point of view. In the experience of the average man, ignorance, selfishness, and fear join hands to induce him to be governed by the little things rather than the large. How often in every-day life do men disclose their absorption in some passing satisfaction, some bauble of gain, to a degree that makes them quite forgetful of civic, humanitarian, or Christian interests,—the fulfilment of their duty to their state, their neighbor, and their God.

And what is true of these is true of all. The things of material sense, even at their best, the most coveted places, possessions, and pleasures,—how well we know their relative nothingness, and yet how universally does the conscious or unconscious desire for them darken spiritual vision, while illustrating the utter folly of devotion to the inconsequential. The fact is that nothing worth while can be accomplished, no duty can be well done, and no abiding joy can be gained, unless the larger interests are constantly kept in view. Indeed, the serviceability of genuine good-will always resides in the fact that one is ready to sacrifice the good opinion of those about him rather than be untrue to their highest welfare. The mother who is seeking ever to please her child, who fails to think of him ever in the light of his higher nature, mission, and destiny,—such a mother is not even a friend to her child, much less his best friend, and she is sure to meet with disappointments and sorrow of heart, because she has substituted the little worth for the large.

November 9, 1912

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