Every-day Thoughts in Prose and Verse
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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Weakness of Anger.
    Have you ever noticed in striving for any
special end how, just as you became sure you
are nearing success, you stumble or blunder?
    There is one aiming for self-control.  He wants
to be above and beyond yielding to anger--his quick
temper has been his worst enemy.  After months
of growth in composure he feels that he has gained
the mastery over himself, and wonders how he ever
could have indulged in such a vulgar weakness as
    Then suddenly some small, unexpected event
occurs which causes him to topple from his pinnacle
of satisfaction, and to burst out in a violent rage.
He has his work to do all over again, or else he
gives up the strife.
    A woman is trying to be always kind, always
helpful, always charitable, and to never wound or
hurt the feelings of another.
    She weighs her words, controls her actions and
cultivates all the Christian virtues.  Just as she
believes herself near human perfection, she inad-
vertently wounds a friend by ill-chosen words or
careless criticisms.
    In the battle with life's temptations it is the same
story.  We break from the octopus of vice, or sin,
or folly, and swim into the clear, untroubled waters,
rejoicing that we have conquered.  Suddenly down
we go into an unforeseen whirlpool, and emerge
weak, discouraged and with our self-confidence
    But it should not be so.  The Hindoo philosophers
describe life as an ocean--the emotions which lead
us into trouble its billows.  We are swimmers up
and down over these waves--up and down--until
we reach the serene depths where all is calm, and
we can look shoreward where the restless billows
break, and know we are secure from harm.
    Every time we fall from our ideal we merely go
down into the hollow between the billows.  If we
give up all effort we become submerged and drown.
    If we continue to struggle on we mount billow
after billow, until at last we reach serenity.
    Never mind your mistakes, your missteps, your
blunders.  They are a part of your development.
Keep on trying.  It is not expected that you attain
perfection all at once.  So long as you are in the
body you must be handicapped occasionally by its
weaknesses.  But do not think them chronic or incur-
able.  Believe you will attain the perfection you
desire in the long run.  Believe you are a divine
spirit, and that divinity will manifest itself in you.
    Work for it, wait for it and assert it in the face of all
your errors.
    Gradually the errors shall grow fewer and fewer,
until they fade away and leave you illuminated with
Divine truth and strong with Divine wisdom.

Every-day thoughts in prose and verse. by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, 1901.

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