"To 'act in the living present'"

[Written Especially for Young People]

One of the commonest foes to happiness and peace of mind is our tendency to regard the situation in which we find ourselves, as unsatisfactory, and to look to the future for the needed change and longed-for contentment. Restless and dissatisfied, we would pass over the present with its rich possibilities, and hope that if we go somewhere else, or do something else, problems will be solved and happiness attained. Perhaps this temptation presents itself to young people rather more forcibly than to those who are older, because young people believe that their lifework still lies before them. They assure themselves that once they find their niche in the world all will be well. While they are still in school, life seems to be made up of seasons of work and study, interspersed with seasons of vacation. They regard this experience more or less as a preparatory period for the time when their life in the world will really begin, when their education is finished, and their career or vocation has been chosen.

Meanwhile, what of the present and of our present state of thought? Possibly in our college work we are confronted with the problem of having to study subjects which do not interest us, which seem to us of little practical use, or which offer unlooked-for difficulties. Shall we mentally leap over this year's work with the thought that next year we shall have things more to our liking, or that we shall have finished our studies altogether and will no longer be bothered with such problems? Suppose during the vacation period we find ourselves in a job which seems uncongenial? Shall we just endure it, stifling our dissatisfaction with the thought that when we are out of school we shall find a job after our own heart? Suppose we find our home environment not altogether harmonious. Shall we refuse to help solve the problem, push it aside and look to the time when we shall have a home of our own which will be altogether desirable? If we permit mortal mind to suggest the postponement of the solution of our problems to an indefinite future, we shall presently find ourselves filled with a discontent and restlessness which would shut out all the joy and peace that are rightfully ours today. As one of our hymns says:

August 28, 1937

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