Pine Needles

Joseph Sadony

Published 1960

Joseph Sadony at 83

Part 2

In trying to make the world better
By making others obey your will and opinion,
Why not make yourself obey
And let the example show its effect?
And each be a captain of his own ship,
So that the human inclination of the "masses" will do likewise
Steering it safely,
Instead of one mortal trying to do so,
Which is impossible.

Whenever you wish to do something,
No matter what it might be,
Think twice –
The day thought and the night thought,
The result to others,
And the result to yourself.
It will astonish you
What an interesting game you may play
During the rest of your life.

It's time ill spent
To labor for the approbation of acquaintances.
In the final reckoning
You shall receive only criticism
For your pains.
The Evil will condemn your efforts,
Because of your patience with good.
And the Good
Will question
Your pity for Evil.

The time a person really suffers tortures is when he has sympathy for those in pain or sorrow.

Try to learn to think what you want to think, that will bring happiness. Then see the attitude of your emotions, your faith and the results. Thoughts come first; regret or action next, and if the latter, happiness results.

Do you think your body is the only place you can live in?
If so, tell me where you are in your dreams, far from home?

Half of the time you did not mean what you said to hurt. It was but habitual, and you felt the stronger of the two. So go easy not to let things slip over the tongue that you may regret and never make good.

Is not the simple life the best
After all?
Is there much to be gained
By responsibilities and fame?
Do they strengthen our hearts and love?
Or do they honor our egotism
And inflame our pride?
The more we acquire,
The more a slave to circumstances
We are apt to become --
Until we may not call our soul our own.

If I offer you an epigram you cannot digest,
Then I have given you something of value.
And you find that your sharp knife
Of discrimination
Is still in your hand,
And rust is not blunting the cutting edge.
Real joys are debts paid in full.

Don't try to think with your brain when that brain is not normal --
Causing thoughts not normal.
Is it not like a tired body which cannot raise an arm?
Why expect a tired brain to do more?

Surely you ought to know when a straight line is made crooked,
As well as when a circle is made straight,
And realize that if you know the difference,
The knowing is proof of an inborn, independent justice,
A knowledge of a moral law,
A conscience of set rule, wrong and right, top or bottom, cold or hot.

Our own law of cause and effect adjusts our judgment
As to what is the cause, and what is the effect,
Whether standing on our feet, or walking on our hands.

Often when you turn off the light, you find you can't sleep. Well, then keep the light on and try to keep your eyes open. You fall asleep, because you are seeing with your eyes. But when dark, you see with your thoughts, and that keeps you awake. I've tried, and I'm no better than you are; and perhaps no worse.

No man can hope in one life
To complete great achievements.
He can expect to accomplish
Only that which is himself.
He may build the greatest ship
But fail to see it launched.
Plan the greatest city
For his children to build and complete.
Paint the greatest picture
For age to illuminate.
But he may build a ladder
Which by the aspiration of his Soul
Will reach into heaven.

Don't despair at your slow growth as roots of an oak tree.
The more slowly you grow, and the more sure of yourself,
The greater will be your tree that will be supported by your long development.

Don't mind those plants that mature over night
They eat, and live only for the next day.
Do you expect so short a life?
It requires but twenty-one days to hatch a chicken egg.
What about a goose, and how long does it live?
You must pay the fiddler by the hour,
Not by the tune.

Are not the limbs of the coming oak,
Yes, even the leaves, predestined as to their respective position on that tree
Within that small acorn, as the nerves and arteries within the embryo of man
To designate its species?

Does thought give you pleasure?
If not, is not anticipation a part of the realization?
And if true, why not create more thought of happiness
To hasten the ambitions of your heart?

Your strength is judged by those who love you,
Your reputation by those who don't.

Periodically in history the ground of man's mind is plowed under, everything apparently uprooted into uncertainty. How else shall the old habits of thought be broken up to clear the way for a new epoch?

He is only successful who, after having attained his goal, remembers his friends who see in him the same friend of old, whose success has not stained nor embittered him.

A doctor can help you live
As long as there is still a tension on your main spring;
But if that has run down,
No matter how good the works and jeweled settings,
Don't expect him to do what God and Nature has forbidden.

The main spring absorbs that which it gives up,
Regardless of the value of the works,
Which in turn must be kept in good condition
Or there will be that pull of the spring still there
To work, escape, or be placed in another rundown clock in good repair;
All created to tell us of wasted time
That might have been used in knowing all these things
To lengthen opportunities and happiness.

See a good jeweler occasionally,
If your clock goes too slow;
And a minister of the gospel to get the correct time,
And a doctor to set and clean the work.

If you have made a mistake,
Why not backtrack
Just to convince yourself how it happened,
And save a lot of good wasted self-pity
Making your next mistake in thinking people believe your alibi.

Do you believe,
Because you can afford the life of ease,
That it exempts you from labor,
When labor is so essential for physical strength,
To support the mental wealth by its personal responsibility?

If your eyes fail to wake up your soul
By the display of beauty and art,
Your ears, as sensitive as they may be,
Shall be deaf to all music, melody, and words of love;
For seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling enter different doors,
But into one room only.

It is useless to worry over what cannot be helped.
And what cannot be helped calls for action,
Not worry.
Worry saps vitality.
And renders one unfit for the action
Necessary to make conditions better.

When you think yourself greater
Than your brother man,
Remind yourself of those things
That you did ungraciously and unwell.

Prayer is but a cup to be filled,
An appeal to the unknown, and not an order,
Not a demand for that which we ourselves may do or reason.
It is to tune in, to strengthen hope unto faith,
That patient path that leads to what we prayed for,
A telescope to see; a microscope to discern.

If you have a just reason to become angry,
And keep it under control,
You punish your enemy.
But if you give way to it,
Your anger punishes you.

How often have we not been let down, forsaken, depressed in spirit. But how do we know that it isn't a test of our sincerity of purpose and worthiness in overcoming adversity when in our power to do so? Has this not perhaps been given us as an honor of trust by Him who gave us life and individuality, to rise above it all and achieve reward for efforts made?

It's not what you do when you are busy that counts most. It is what you do when you are idle that makes or breaks you.

If you fail to make good, and do not know why,
Have you ever stopped to think
That it might be a childish dream of fear, petrified,
Which still remains with you, unconsciously?

Have you ever stopped to think that our anger and disappointment
Magnify more by our unreasonable selfish imagination
Than that which first caused our anger,
So easy then to forgive,
Until we have added our own subtle poison of disappointment or false pride?

Most of us are becoming blind to today's opportunity
Which might shape tomorrow's success.
Instead, we but hope for tomorrow's success;
And fail because of today's neglect.

The spirit of serving is becoming
To the high
As well as the lowly.
But dignity belongs to him
Who is able to uphold it.

Few of us think real thought.
We only think we think,
It is all Vanity in new forms.
One must be alone to think,
Uninfluenced by the world's desires.

Don't be too hasty to collect your first week's wages;
Neither expect a silver cup at your first attempt.
Be glad for the attempt.
Victory and silver cups follow always.
If you still have faith after your first three prayers were answered
You may be sure your recommendation is being placed on record.
To deliver goods on credit.

There is a limit to man's power of reasoning.
He may be finally able to complete
A jig-saw puzzle,
In a fashion according to the
Number of blocks he has found
Through his efforts to excel.
But in his youth it makes no difference
What block he chooses first,
In his attempt to solve the Unknown,
He will but reach a plane of incompleteness,
Until each block of life's problems
Has been found, and properly placed.
And when he reaches that point of evolution,
Man's understanding may, perhaps,
Partake somewhat of completeness and universality.

Daily contact with an enemy results in the enemy being despised.
But if he is avoided, he creates another weapon to hurt in his absence.
The farther removed the more horrible the cry of the battlefield...

Problems and misfortunes are blessings of immunity to oblivion and failure.
They awaken and exercise a sluggish brain.
They strengthen faith and hope born in the Soul.
But if sorrows and calamities go by unnoticed – if no lesson has been learned, then a life has been in vain.

How can we enjoy without having known sorrow?
How can we know sorrow without joy?
Sympathy is born in sorrow.
Appreciation often dies in joy.
But the memory of both sorrow and joy awakens faith, hope and charity, consideration, kindness and love.

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