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MANY very excellent persons whose lives are honorable and whose characters are noble pass numberless hours of sadness and weariness of heart. The fault is not with their circumstances, as they suppose, nor yet with their general character. Their misery is due to their failure to adopt the true philosophy of life. They wait for happiness to come instead of going to work and making it; and while they wait, they torment themselves with borrowed troubles, with fears, forebodings, morbid fancies, and moody spirits, until they are all unfitted for happiness under any circumstances.

Sometimes they cherish improper ambition, covet some fancied or real good they do not deserve and could not enjoy if it were theirs, wealth they have not earned, honors they have not won, attentions they have not merited. Sometimes they shade the present with every cloud of the past, and although surrounded by a thousand inviting duties and pleasures, revel in sad memories with a kind of morbid relish for the stimulus of their miseries. Sometimes forgetting the past and the present, they live in the future, not in its probable realities but in its most, improbable visions and unreal creations, now of good and then of evil, wholly unfitting their minds for real life and enjoyments.

These morbid and improper states of mind are too prevalent among some persons. They excite that nervous irritability that is so productive of pining regrets and fretful complaints. They make that large class of fretters who enjoy no peace themselves nor permit others to enjoy it. In the domestic circle they fret their life away. Everything goes wrong with them because they make it so. The smallest annoyance chafes them as though it were an unbearable vexation. Their business and duties trouble them as though such things were not good. Pleasure they never seem to know, because they never get ready to enjoy it. Their home is the worst of all homes. Their streets and their neighborhood are the most unpleasant to be found. Nobody else has so many annoyances as they. Their lot is harder than falls to common mortals; they have to work harder and always have had to; they have less and always expect to. They have seen more trouble than other folks know anything about. They are never so well as their neighbors. And they always charge all their unhappiness upon those nearest connected with them, never dreaming that they are themselves the authors of it all. Such people are to be pitied.

This defect in character is more generally the result of the indulgence of gloomy thoughts, morbid fancies, inordinate ambition, a complaining, fault-finding disposition. He who frets is never the one who mends, heals, or repairs evils; more, he discourages, enfeebles, and too often disables those around him who, but for the gloom and depression of his company, would do good work and keep up brave cheer. There is no vice except drunkenness that can so utterly destroy the peace and happiness of a home.

Why do people scold? Because they can not govern themselves. How can they hope to govern others? Those who govern well are generally calm. They are prompt and resolute, but steady.

It is not work that kills a man; it is worry. Work is healthy.

How unpleasant to be in company with one who frets, scolds, and grumbles, always seeing the faults of others but never his own! Wouldn’t it be much pleasanter to have a sunny disposition, overlooking the faults of those around us? Reader, if you are guilty of these ugly habits, begin at once to cultivate good habits, good thoughts about others. Be pleasant, kind, loving, gentle, and humble, and you will be happy and make others happy. Try it.