Opportunity: Everything has a meaning

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wealth, in the panorama of nature with its change of seasons, its sunsets and dawns, its mountains and oceans, its plains and rivers, and in the only less marvelous world of literature and art. What are the senses but permanent opportunities, inviting us to look that we may see and know, to listen that we may hear and understand? What is success but a command to attempt still higher things?

What is failure but an exhortation to the all-hoping heart of man to make another venture? At whatsoever moment we awaken to the meaning and worth of life there is work for us to do. No one, it may be, will pay us for it, but God and nature are always with us, assisting us in every effort to become wise, strong, and virtuous. If we cannot do great things, there is ever-present opportunity of doing small things well; and great occasions come to those alone who make good use of the hundred minor offices and occurrences with which the lives of all are filled. If we fail in the dangers and temptations which none escape, it is because there is some fault in our daily life, in our habitual state.

Everything has a meaning-, has truth and nourishment for those who are wholly alive, and opportunities come crowding in upon them-opportunities to learn, to admire, to love, to cheer, to console, to enlighten and guide. Is there not always opportunity to deny one's self, to refrain from facile and cheap pleasures that we may make ourselves capable of pure joy? Pleasure is the bait on Nature's hook and they who bite are caught. Pleasure is death's forager. If we are but true and high in the common affairs, nothing shall have power to harm us. Is opportunity lacking to be polite, obliging, discreet and amiable, to listen with attention or to speak what is better than silence, to observe carefully, to bear bravely and to do right? Is it difficult to find occasion for being sincere and honest? Honesty is the best policy, because an honest man, whether or not he get place or money, is a genuine man, self-approved, and pleasing to God. In poverty he is rich, in prison he is free. Whatever his outward fate and fortune, failure cannot touch him, for to be a genuine man is the highest we may know on earth. Is opportunity lacking to speak truth and to live within one's means-to obey the two great commandments, Do not lie,


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