AN Italian laborer in Los Angeles spent twenty years digging sewers. During that time he carried suspended about his neck a bag containing “a good luck stone,” a little red thing he had picked up. One day a glint of color caught the eye of an onlooker.
The bag was opened and “the little red thing” proved to be a pigeon ruby. It was worth $20,000. For twenty years this man had dug in dirt, lived in squalor, and fed on the fare of poverty in ignorance of his hidden fortune.
The story stirs us like an adventure. The pathos! The ignorance! The labor! The lost years! The unrecognized resources! But a greater story should stir us—the story of this man is the story of humanity.
We all possess potential wealth, uncapitalized and unrecognized. But deep within us there is “something that knows,” something that urges us on to become more, have more, live more.
That something is the soul,—the ego, the psyche,—seeking self-expression and freedom. Fed on the fare of poverty, it starves! Hidden from the eye of sense, it yet contrives to send forth a gleam, demanding recognition.
One of the most startling discoveries in the realm of nature is the uniqueness of all things. There is no
sameness in nature. There is likeness or similarity, there is uniformity of law, but there is no absolute reduplication. It has been said that after God makes a great man like Lincoln, He breaks the mold. After God makes anything, He breaks the mold.
There are no two things exactly alike in all the world, and there are no two souls alike. Your resources are individual, your personality is singular. You are come into the world to add your bit to the great mosaic of humanity, to weave your thread on the loom of the race.
The thread may be gold or gray, foreground or background, but it is yours, and the pattern will not be complete without it.
How do we know that the soul has a purpose? The purpose of the soul is the root of revelation recently supported by the science of psychology. Whatever man has been able to discover intuitively regarding the meaning of life has always indicated the soul as being on a quest.
It is here on a mission and woe to that soul that bears not its message! Recent studies in psychology have corroborated this intuition. That the psyche has designs for self-accomplishment is shown in the way it acts when thwarted—it proceeds to get sick and by the laws of the externalization of thought makes the body sick with it.
We will suppose that you have an instinctive interest in writing. From your earliest years, you have dreamed of some day becoming a writer. You have taken pleasure in forming your thoughts and building beautiful words around them.
You have loved language and you have been filled with romance. “Tomorrow” you were going to write a book. But tomorrow came empty-handed and demanded bread instead of words. So you worked for bread.
Tomorrow you would write but this time she demanded shelter or clothes, or a bottle for the baby. So the years come and go but tomorrow never comes bringing you a day and a pencil and paper.
Your soul, which is here to write books, begins to droop; its wistful eye, which has greeted so many disappointing tomorrows, is dulled; hope can no longer sustain the illusions of tomorrow. The psyche “gets sick.”