Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm starting the chapter called "Aspirations and Ideals", in the book by Newell Dwight Hillis,
I like the way he writes and the way he thinks. Something about his style that speaks to me. This following piece is the opening of the chapter and wets my appetite.

"Man is a pilgrim journeying toward the new and beautiful city of the Ideal. Aspiration, not contentment, is the law of his life. Today's triumph dictates new struggles tomorrow. The youth flushed with success may couch down in the tent of satisfaction for one night only. When the morning comes he must fold his tent and push on toward some new achievement. That man is ready for his burial robes who lets his present laurels satisfy him. God has crowned the world with antidotes to contentment and with stimulants to progress. The world is not built for sluggards. The earth is like a road, a poor place for sleeping in, a good thing to travel over. The world is like a forge, unfit for residence, but good for putting temper in a warrior's sword. Life is built for waking up dull men, making lazy men unhappy, and the low-flying miserable.
When other incitements fail, fear and remorse following behind scourge men forward; but ideals in front are the chief stimulants to growth. Each morning, waking, the soul sees the ideal man one ought to be, rising in splendor to shame the man one is.
Columbus was tempted forward by the floating branches, the drifting weeds, the strange birds, unto the new world rich in tropic treasure. So by aspirations and ideals God lures men forward unto the soul's undiscovered country. In the long ago the star moving on before guided the wise men of the East to the manger where the young child lay; and still in man's night God hangs aspirations -- stars for guiding men away from the slough of content to the hills of paradise. The soul hungers for something vast, and ideals lure to the long voyage, the distant harbor, and are the stars by which the pilgrim shapes his course."

Photo by Katja Faith, titled "Wanna be someone else."

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