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The Developing of Love

It is proverbial that he who is wronged may forgive, but he who has done the wrong never docs so, and though the statement must be accepted with limitations yet it is in effect true.

There is another aspect to the proverb however, which is as true, indeed far more true in its working, but of which one hears less:—He who has received a gift, a kind thought, a benediction may forget, but he who has given the blessing never forgets it, not because he looks for gratitude, but because that kindly act, thought, or benediction which he has given has become part of his life, part of himself, though he be unconscious of it.

The working out of this law may be traced in many lives, the people one loves best are seldom those from whom one has received most, nearly always on the contrary those whom one has had the power and opportunity of helping.

The prodigal son is often the best loved by his parents, for to him have been given love, and anxiety, care, and help in larger measure than to his brothers and sisters.

This is the logical working out of the law that ‘Like builds like;’ the more our store of love is drawn on, the greater it grows to be.

Do a kindness to a man whom as yet you do not like, and the act repeated several times will eventually make you love him. On the other hand, persevere in your thoughts of dislike, and eventually love towards him will become almost impossible.

Dr. Bonar has well expressed this thought in the well knows lines:—

"Is the heart a living power?—Self-contained its power sinks low,
It can only live in loving, and by serving, love will grow."

He whose wickedness is very great brings himself clown to that state where his enemy wishes him to be. He himself is his greatest enemy. Thus a creeper destroys the life of a tree on which it finds support.
—Buddha
It is well to put aside the annoyances of by-past time, dropping the remembrance of disagreeables; but it is better still to pass them by in the beginning without taking them up. Overlook them. Prevent the impression, and there will be no occasion to erase it. A mollifying ointment is good for a hurt, but better no hurt in need of healing. Do not dwell upon unpleasantness long enough for it to take at place in the convolutions of the brain, if nothing is to be gained by it save a disturbing memory. Keep the eyes at higher levels. These things in themselves, or in their consequences, are not vital. If no principle is involved, let them pass.
—Julia H. Johnson

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More Articles by This Author Mary Harris Jones

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Mary Harris Jones

  • Born in July, 1837 in Cork, Ireland and died on November 30th, 1930 in Adelphi, Maryland.
  • She was an Irish-American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a labor and union organizer.
  • She became known as "Mother" Jones later in life.
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