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Opulence

Do not go through the world talking poverty and asking every one you deal with to show you special consideration because you are "poor" and "unfortunate."

If you do this with an idea of saving a few dollars here and there, you will always have to do it, because you are creating poverty conditions by your constant assertions.

It is a curious fact that the people who are always demanding consideration in money matters demand the best that is going at the same time.

I have known a woman to make a plea for cut prices in a boarding house because she was so poor, yet she wanted the sunniest room and the best location the house afforded.

It is the charity patients who make the most complaint of a physician's skill or a nurse's attention.

If you cannot afford to do certain things, or buy certain objects, don't. But when you decide you must, decide, too, that you will pay the price, and make no whining plea of poverty.

There are two extremes of people in the world, one as distasteful as the other. One is represented by the man who boasts of the costliness of every possession, and invites the whole world to behold his opulence and expenditure.

His clothes, his house, his servants, his habits, seem no different to the observer from his neighbor's, yet, according to his story, they cost ten times the amount.

The other extreme is the man who dresses well, lives well, enjoys all the comforts and pleasures of his associates, yet talks poverty continually, and expects the entire community to show him consideration in consequence.

Another thing to avoid is the role of the chronically injured person.

We all know him.

He has a continual grievance. He has been cheated, abused, wronged, insulted, disappointed and deceived. We wonder how or why he has managed to exist, as we listen to the story of his troubles.

No one ever treats him fairly, either in business or social life.

Everybody is ungrateful, unkind, selfish, and he could not be made to believe that these experiences were of his own making.

All of us meet with occasional blows from fate, in the form of insults, or ingratitude, or trickery from an unexpected source.

But if we get nothing else but those disappointing experiences from life, we may rest assured the fault lies somewhere in ourselves.

We are not sending out the right kind of mental stuff, or we would get better returns.

You never can tell what your thoughts will do
In bringing you hate or love,
For thoughts are things, and their airy wings
Are swift as a carrier dove.
They follow the law of the universe—
Each thing must create its kind,
And they speed o'er the track to bring you back
Whatever went out from your mind.

In the main, we must of necessity get from humanity what we give to it.

If we question our ability to win friends or love, people will also question it.

If we doubt our own judgment and discretion in business, others will doubt it, and the shrewd and unprincipled will take the opportunity given by our doubts of ourselves, to spring upon us.

If in consequence we distrust every person we meet, we create an unwholesome and unfortunate atmosphere about ourselves, which will bring to us the unworthy and deceitful. Stand firm in the universe.

Believe in yourself. Believe in others.

If you make a mistake, consider it only an incident.

If someone wrongs you, cheats, misuses or insults you, let it pass as one of the lessons you had to learn, but do not imagine that you are selected by fate for only such lessons. Keep wholesome, hopeful and sympathetic with the world at large, whatever individuals may do.

Expect life to use you better every year, and it will not disappoint you in the long run. For life is what we make it.

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More Articles by This Author Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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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."

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