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More Thought, More Happiness

If thinking banished smiles without reserve or warning, and could not be the companion of happiness under any pretext whatsoever, then to think would be assuredly the grossest evil. But can this be true in any sense? Can the beauty of smiles, and the happiness of men and women, be merely intended for those of a thoughtless nature?

Man commonly does hundreds of foolish things before he sits down to think, and a large number of people prefer to be unhappy, rather than solve life's sorrows by a little contemplation of its facts. All persons regard the future as certain as the present, but only a sprinkling provide for the days to come. These last are the thinkers. Life to them is not a drama for giddy creatures, it is a precious jewel possessing all promise of beauty and perfection. Such persons see all their difficulties, yet resolve to fight them with the best weapons. Not so the disciple of frivolity; he grumbles when things go wrong—when, for instance, the marriage he heedlessly entered upon does not yield the extravagant state of happiness he anticipated—he does not even consider how to make the best of his own folly, and lives on without endeavoring to light up his life with the sun of the mind.

It is impossible to estimate how much suffering might be avoided if, instead of snatching at present enjoyment, man traced out the natural effects of ordinary actions; but it may be assumed that happiness would not be denied him who let enjoyment take secondary place, and it is safe to say such happiness having been gained with effort would remain with more steadfastness.

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