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valuable instrument I have. It will open doors to me that otherwise would be completely closed. No one thinks it belongs to me. That is Discouragement.
The story goes on further to say that the price of that little tool was so great that it is still in the possession of the devil.
The power of discontent and discouragement to degrade human character is not sufficiently appreciated, nor is the importance of triumphing over disappointments fully realized.
Some great writer has wisely said that to succeed in this world a man must be a “good loser.' That is, a man must be able to smile after the greatest defeat.
As is well known, one of the greatest leaders of this country, who had performed great services for the nation, when defeated for the presidency turned against his friends, became dissatisfied with life and died of a broken heart. The same has been true of two other men nominated for the presidency. They were unable to laugh at their defeat. Had any one of these men been able to smile he would have received merited honor from all the country. Such a defeat was an accident and might have been made an opportunity, if the men had been able to rise above it.
On the other hand, one who looks out smiling from his great defeat is welcomed in every company both by those who voted for him and those who voted against him. The smile that was not quenched by defeat, that smile that arose victorious over it, indicated manhood of a high character. A man who can smile after defeat can never be defeated. He will turn what may seem the worst of defeats into the grandest victory. He
who is able, in the face of apparent failure, to rise and smile, achieves a greater victory than that of being elected to a high office.
Such failures are to be found in all walks of life, rendered such by some very important defeat. The same defeat on the contrary, has made many men and has given them a greater triumph.
There is no greater sign of power than the ability to smile and change the point of view, change the plans of a whole life. One possessing such ability always becomes not only popular but strong in his character.
Such a man, a defeated candidate, has been called to lecture all over the country, in all the great schools. He has received many more invitations to lecture than he can accept. He is received everywhere with the greatest enthusiasm.
Coming to a great university to lecture, the boys cheered him for several minutes. It happened to be the day after a national election. He smiled at them and said, “Why should you cheer me? I was not elected to anything yesterday.”
He is welcomed by every class of men, members of all parties, because he has preserved the genial, kindly smile that indicates the greatness of the man.
Many times every day we must choose whether we are to smile or frown, whether we are to smile or whine; whether we are to assume a positive, loving, courageous attitude toward the events of life,-toward our fellow-men-or to sink into a state of antagonism, discouragement, and lack of faith.
Smile and the world smiles with you,
Whine and you whine alone.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote “ laugh" instead of “smile" and
" instead of " whine;' ”
But as she wrote it the statement is not true. The popularity of such words, the fact that they may be quoted thousands of times does not make them true. What man or woman do you meet on the street who does not have a more serious look on account of Belgium, Servia and Poland.
The innocent sufferers do not weep alone. All the world that is sane weeps with those who suffer from no fault of their own. As I venture to correct the lines they are true, universally true.
People do not always take such lines exactly as they are printed. The pessimism of the original lines is not realized by people who quote them and their meaning to the common heart is, I am sure, what is here printed. Unconsciously they substitute “ whine” for “
weep." Not only has the writer of a poem poetic license but the reader also. ' A man must become a poet to appreciate poetry.
The whine like all forms of sin separates one from his fellow-men. “ Whoso finds me will slay me,” cried Cain when he was made to realize that he was a murderer, and he also felt that he was separated from God. “From thy face shall I be hid,” he exclaimed in his agony and he was right. A whine or frown or scowl or a grouch of any kind separates one from men and God.
A smile on the contrary expresses sympathy. By a smile one comes into touch with others. In its very nature a smile is a recognition of others, a sign of willingness to share the life of one's fellowmen. It is a welcome to your neighbor's thoughta signal that you desire to commune with him.
Fortunate, indeed, is it that men do not meet “ frown” with “frown” that they do not sympathetically participate in every unmanly whine.
The dignity and the glory of the race is seen in the fact that we meet smile with smile. It proves that love and sympathy are held as something supreme in the human heart.
The tendency to reflect the expression of our fellow-beings is too well known to require discussion. If a friend meets us with a smile, we smile back, but if somebody approaches us with an angry frown, how quickly we are thrown into a corresponding mood!
But there is such a thing as holding our thinking on a higher plane, always looking out with love and kindliness, sympathy and compassion toward everyone. The kindly look and the gentle smile may be made the means of the greatest victories.
Someone may dispute this and say that in a certain condition of anger, or even discouragement, it is impossible to smile. That depends upon our strength of character. We can turn our attention in any direction we choose. We can look toward that which is beautiful. We can choose a point of view from which we can see the absurdity of anger.
The smile always comes from looking on the bright side, the side that is right, the side that is infinite, the side that is divine.
While the smile is primarily spontaneous, though it may seem as natural and involuntary as any act of expression, still, we can choose to smile, or we can repress a smile we can crush it into a frown. Under certain conditions, it is easier to frown than to smile-under difficulties-when insulted; but if we can smile, we have gained a victory over the worst. We can smile as if we were saying to a person, “ You will not say so to-morrow “ You do not really think so ”; “ It is not your real self
that is speaking ”; “ You will be sorry in a few hours”; “ Sometime you will understand me better, and know that what you have said is unjust.” Some such remark as these is implied in the smile of victory, the smile that denotes that a person is looking upward. Man walks in the direction in which his eyes are looking if he walks with ease. The smile indicates the direction in which we are looking and that we are looking upward. We are looking out from the point of view of affection and love. Before us there are two roads. The straight and narrow road leads upward. That is the direction of the true soul, even in the midst of difficulties.
The broad road is downward, and the frown always leads that way.
The ability to smile under most trying circumstances is a measure of power.