I love to pass along the names of long lost books which are full of wisdom and represent a time now lost to those of us living in the United States today. “Flight from the city; An Experiment in Creative Living on the Land” and “This Ugly Civilization” both by Ralph Borsodi are excellent examples of what I’m speaking of and good reading for everyone. With a little searching both can be found for free on the web.
My latest discovery is called “The Joys of Living” by Orison Swett Marden. This is the books hundredth anniversary and its a very uplifting story.
How many of us know how to live in the now? Most of us gaze at something beyond, something to come. Tomorrow, next month, next year when we have the new house, new car, better job and are rid of the things that annoy, then we will be happy. Why not now? Because our eyes are not focused on the things near us but on things far away. We are so accustomed to living for what’s to come we lose the power to enjoy the here and now. We spend our lives trading “futures”, building air castles and chasing rainbows. It leads to discontentment, restlessness, nervousness and ultimately, leaves us unhappy. Want to learn about changing this view to happiness in the moment? Then read on.
A few days ago I was driving to the Winthrop Rhythm and Blues festival and drove across a bridge in Wenatchee Washington the was named after a senator – the Senator so and so bridge. I thought it strange. Why do we celebrate the government that takes our money from us by naming bridges and buildings after them? Honor the people who take our money from us? We used to name buildings after successful people. Carnegie Hall for example. Sadly, the day when we celebrated innovators is gone, so much so that we even vilify them, yet its not a problem to lift up those who take our hard earned money from us.
We have become so dependent on government that I believe it is important to find books that take us to another time and a different way of thinking, away from the thinking our current times lock us into.
Orison Marden was a physician, a writer and hotel owner, and incredible thinker, all during the time when Americans adored inventors and entrepreneurs. In those days the rich didn’t hide and they gave massive sums to charities, church’s and libraries. This was at a time when the capitalist spirit thrived – the second half of the 19th century. Lives lengthened and infant mortality fell. New products abounded from communication to transportation and these inventions were celebrated at world fairs. Ever wonder why we don’t have world fairs anymore? The point was not to celebrate privilege but instead, to celebrate the possibilities available to everyone.
Marden himself came from poverty and overcame great family hardships to achieve success. There was a principle at work in his time that was basic cause and effect – work hard, dedicate yourself and dreams could be achieved. And the greatest resource was the human mind. Previous generations had believed they were trapped by class, and social position but Marden’s generation came to see the truth that nothing could contain an idea whose time had come as long as they were willing to act on it. Ford, Edison, Firestone and Morgan all pointed towards Marden as their inspiration.
It’s doubtful you will find another book like this and because we lack the social template its not a book that could be written today. This is a man who speaks to the individual no matter their calling, Monk, banker, teacher, worker, preacher, musician, mechanic you name it. This little forgotten book will change your life and possibly the world around you with the joy it brings.
Want to make a difference in your future and that of others? Grab a copy of the Joy of Living and absorb this 100 year old document that will speak to you from a time we no longer know, but that we all should know. Its not luck, it’s not chance, it is all within yourself and this book will inspire you to move beyond the imaginary chains that bind you.