"Chins Up!" is a little book of only 99 pages. But it is so packed with good sense and one challenge after another to the better side of one's nature that, could you make its lesson a part of you, your life could be transformed. Remember the little quotation from Cervantes with which the book begins? "He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all." Mildred Seydell, the author, does not put you on a leash as do many authors and tell you that no part of her book may be copied. She is not jealous of her journalistic ability. She simply wants to help people. I wish I knew the story of her life. Both she and her publishers hint that she has had to fight her way out of the Slough of Despond and onto the Road to Happiness. She says that to achieve happiness isn't as difficult as you think. To quote her, "You merely have to learn to laugh at yourself, to have confidence in goodness, courage to work, and sense to quit when it is time to play; a philosophy that in the depths of unhappiness will be the periscope to enable you to see the happiness above and ahead." I like her first chapter on Habit. She compares us to the elephant who, "in the early stages of his captivity, is chained so thoroughly that he couldn't possibly escape. Thereafter, he believes himself to be securely fastened, no matter how weak the chain and stake that restrain him." We believe we cannot break away from a habit. But we are chained to it only by the thin thought of believing in our inability to be free. Then the chapter on Ease. (No chapter is more than two pages long; most of them contain 150 words or less). The Arabs say: "Too much sun makes a desert." She goes on to say that Rain is essential to growth. So it is with the spirit. Too much ease and there is no growth. Therefore, when the rain of calamity falls on you, remember the Arabian motto. For her chapter on Tolerance she quotes Lord Dewar, "Minds are like parachutes. They function only when they are open." Always try to get the other fellow's viewpoint. For opportunity there is this eternal truth, "There are many times when you cannot find help, but there is no time that you cannot give it." I love the little chapter on "The Winter of Life." The Armenians say, "The rose of winter time is fire." The open hearth, the wood cracking and sending out its "petals of crimson and yellow." So it is with the winter of life. The wood has, through the years, stored the sunshine. Through the years we can store sunshine in our souls, thoughts of kindness, wisdom, faith that has been tested. When youth is gone, in old age there will be the brightest glow, the warmest beauty. About Love and Hate. Hate is the weapon of the defeated. Love is the weapon of the victor. Loving thoughts are the antidote against all hate. On making the best of the worst, our author bids us take a lesson from the African natives, simple, happy folk. When the grasshoppers come and eat up their crops, they eat the grasshoppers. They nourish themselves in their disaster. The Chinese say, "The glory is not in never falling, but rising every time you fall." Match every fall with a rise; the reward is rich. How about your luck? The Finnish book, "The Seven Brothers," has one of its characters say, "Hard work conquers even the worst of luck." And we well know that is true. ***
Now I mustn't give you all the richness of this book to digest at one sitting. Let us have another feast another day. Speaking of feasts, we surely had a feast of beauty at the Church Workers' (C.W.A.) meeting at the Saltsburg Church yesterday afternoon, Feb. 3. Mrs. L.M. Clark of Kiski showed us the beautiful films in technicolor that she and Mr. Clark took on their trip by plane to California and Mexico this winter: San Francisco, the Bay, the Golden Gate bridge, the Embracadero, beautiful homes of their friends, including that of Bob Mathias, Kiski star, winner of the Olympics decathlon this past year. There was an inspiring touch to her story about our hero. The Mathias' household has a certain motto that is kept in the foreground of their thinking. During the gruelling contests - ten of them - that lasted two days, Bob's mother, on the sidelines feared for her son's health, and advised him to drop out. "Remember, Mother, 'A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins'" ****
The scenes in Mexico City and Acapulco are colorful and altogether lovely. Didja know that Mexico City is 7,500 miles above sea level - the highest city in the world? Didja know that Mexican silver, as used in jewelry at least, is 98% pure silver, whereas our sterling silver is only 60%? Mrs. Clark has some interesting hand-hammered jewelry. Don't miss a chance to see her pictures and hear her refreshing account of their "silver-wedding trip."
Florence B. Taylor
P.S. I failed to state the inspiring little book, "Chins Up," is a Christmas gift from Mr. Walker. I wish I might have visited all my friends, but this is just a flying trip, to check up on Ina, who was quite ill, but seems to be all right now.
Next - 2/24/49 - THE SONG OF OUR SYRIAN GUEST
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