Every woman who passes thirty ought to keep her brain, heart and mind alive and warm with human sympathy and emotion. She ought to interest herself in the lives of others, and make her friendship valuable to the young.
She should keep her body supple, and avoid losing the lines of grace: and she should select some study or work to occupy her spare hours and to lend a zest to the coming years. Every woman in the comfortable walks in life can find time for such a study. No woman of tact, charm, refinement and feeling need ever let her husband, unless she has married a clod, become indifferent or commonplace in his treatment of her. Man reflects to an astonishing degree woman's sentiments for him.
Keep sentiment alive in your own heart, madam, and in the heart of your husband. If he sees that other men admire you he will be more alert to the necessity of remaining your lover.
Take the happy, safe, medium path between a gray and a gay life by keeping it radiant and bright. Read and think and talk of cheerful, hopeful, interesting subjects. Avoid small gossip, and be careful in your criticism of neighbors. Sometimes we must criticize, but speak to people whose faults you feel a word of counsel may amend, not of them to others.
Make your life after it reaches its noon, glorious with sunlight, rich with harvests, and bright with color. Be alive in mind, heart and body. Be joyous without giddiness, loving without silliness, attractive without being flirtatious, attentive to others' needs without being officious, and instructive without too great a display of erudition.
Be a noble, loving, lovable woman.
It is never too late in life to make a new start. No matter how small a beginning may be, it is so much begun for a new incarnation if it is cut off here by death.
If I were one hundred years old, and in possession of my faculties, I would not hesitate to undertake a new enterprise which offered a hope of bettering my condition.
Thought is eternal in its effects, and every hopeful thought which enters the mind sets vibrations in motion, which shall help minds millions of miles distant and lives yet unborn.
It is folly to mourn over a failure to provide opportunities and luxuries for children. We have only to look at the children of the rich, to see how little enduring happiness money gives, and how seldom great advantages result in great characters. The majority of the really great people of the world, in all lines of achievement, have sprung from poverty. I do not mean from pauper homes, but from the homes where only the mere necessities of life could be obtained, and where early in their youth the children felt it necessary to go into the world and make their own way. Self-dependence, self-reliance, energy, ambition, were all developed in this way.
How rarely do we find these qualities in the children of wealth. How rarely do great philosophers, great statesman, great thinkers and great characters develop from the wealthy classes.
Pauperism—infant labor—the wage-earning women—are all evils which ought to be abolished. But next to that evil I believe the worst thing possible for a human soul is to be born to wealth. It is an obstacle to greatness which few are strong enough to surmount, and it rarely results in happiness to the recipient.
More Articles by This Author Ella Wheeler Wilcox
- Author and poet
- Born November 5th, 1850 in Johnstown, Wisconsin and died October 30th, 1919
- Famous line in poetry: "Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone."