Signs of the Times

["The Joy of Living," from the Daily World, Tulsa, Okla.]

Only he who in some manner dispels the clouds of despondency and discouragement from the valleys of life by an exhibition of charity and genuine friendship, or gilds the darkening shadows of the setting sun, may truly claim to have worked with God. Only he who waves the magic wand of true Christian charity over the miasmas of intolerance and suspicion, thus allaying their consuming fevers of hate, can say he has proved himself a friend of man. ... War is a state of mind; so is peace. Friendship is a state of mind; likewise hostility. Charity is a state of mind; and so are intolerance and persecution. Which is to say that we all first must bring to the scene we inhabit, either with harmony or discord, those precise conditions which we find and which we either complain of or rejoice in proclaiming. Life's menaces and woes are almost altogether imaginary. ... It is as easy to see in our neighbor a friend and a good citizen as it is to discover an enemy and a bad citizen. There is an old axiom which has it that he who would have friends "must shew himself friendly." Nothing is truer than that. Friendship is an alchemy of softening the hardest lines of hate between man and man; it breaks down the barriers of mistrust and suspicion, fills the moats of prejudice, and bridges the chasms of intolerance with cables of love and faith. It was not by accident that the Nazarene ... enunciated the Golden Rule and constantly advocated the return of good for evil. ... He knew that as a man thinketh within his heart so is he.

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November 11, 1922

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