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Publisher's Preface - Let The Past Go - The Sowing of the Seed - Old Clothes - High Noon - Obstacles - Thought Force - Opulence - Eternity - Morning Influences - The Philosophy of Happiness - A Worn Out Creed - Common Sense - Literature - Optimism - Preparation - Dividends - Royalty - Heredity - Invincibility - That Mental Chisel - The Object of Life - Wisdom - Self Conquest - The Important Trifles - Concentration - Destiny - Sympathy - The Breath - Generosity - Woman's Opportunity - Balance - Contents

Chapter 14 - Optimism

NOT long ago I read the following gloomy bit of pessimism from the pen of a man bright enough to know better than to add to the mental malaria of the world. He said:

"Life is a hopeless battle in which we are foredoomed to defeat. And the prize for which we strive 'to have and to hold' -- What is it? A thing that is neither enjoyed while had, nor missed when lost. So worthless it is, so unsatisfying, so inadequate to purpose, so false to hope and at its best so brief, that for consolation and compensation we set up fantastic faiths of an aftertime in a better world from which no confirming whisper has ever reached us out of the void. Heaven is a prophecy uttered by the lips of despair, but Hell is an inference from history."

This is morbid and unwholesome talk which can do no human being any good to utter, or listen to.

But it can depress and discourage the weak and struggling souls, who are striving to make the best of circumstances, and it can nerve to suicide the hand of some half-crazed being, who needed only a word of encouragement and cheer to brace up and win the race.

This is the unpardonable sin -- to talk discouragingly to human souls, hungering for hope.

When the man without brains does it, he can be pardoned for knowing no better.

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