How difficult it is for us to surrender to the fact that we cannot defy physical, mental, and moral laws without being hurt any more than we can defy the laws of physics and expect no harmful results.
No person in his right mind would jump from a high elevation or purposely walk into a fire. And yet this same person who would never dream of defying the laws of gravity or heat is often care less about laws just as definite and certain.
When we stop to consider, we all realize that it is impossible to “burn the candle at both ends” unless somehow we can add tallow in the middle. So far no one has learned to do this, so we must abide by the laws that nature has given us or suffer the consequences.
The first part of this Code of Living covers the mental attitude with which we should face each day. It is practically impossible to have a beautiful and enthusiastic outlook on life if we have a “heavy head” from intemperance the night before or if we have experienced overwork or lack of sleep.
Do a little self-analysis in this regard. Sometime when you are physically tired or weary from lack of sleep try to get interested in some project of yours that under normal circumstances would provoke great enthusiasm. There is usually a mental and emotional block.
Be honest with yourself and compare the temporary sensations you might receive from defying these laws with the frustrations and loss of a healthy mental attitude. None of us are equipped to meet even our daily problems or make the most of our daily opportunities unless we are feeling our very best.
I need not elaborate on the importance of a happy and optimistic attitude towards life. We actually receive to some extent through mirrored images our own outlook. One of the best examples of this is found in the story of two men who approached the gates of a great city.
The first man asked the keeper of the gates what kind of people lived in the city.
The keeper said, “What kind of people lived in the city which you just left?”
The man’s reply was, “They were terrible people. They hated each other, were jealous of each other, were selfish: They were such horrible people I couldn’t get along with them — in fact, that is the reason I left.”
The keeper shook his head and said, “I’m sorry to tell you but that is exactly the kind of people we have here. You’ll never be happy in this city.”
Upon hearing this the man sorrowfully walked away.
A second man shortly thereafter approached the same gate keeper and asked the same question.
Upon being asked what kind of people he left behind, his reply was, “They were wonderful people. They loved each other, they helped each other. They were thoughtful, kind and under standing. You’ll never find better people on the face of the earth.”
The gate keeper opened the gates as he said, “Come in, my friend. I am glad to tell you we have exactly the same kind of people here. You’ll be happy and feel at home among them.”
You might like to express it in another way. His valuable contribution was this, “I look into the other fellow’s face each morning to find out how I feel.”
Yes, our appraisal of both people and situations is often only a reflection of our own personal outlook in life. I once heard a pastor make the remark that God has given us a world that nothing but our own folly keeps from being a Paradise. It made very little impression upon me at the time but the longer I live the more I realize the impact of its truth.
The choice is ours. We can see life through the rose-colored glasses of the healthy mental and emotional condition which depends to a great extent on our physical being. Or, if we insist on trying to defy the laws of human conduct, we can suffer the consequences.