“Counsels of the Aged to the Young” – X. Living For Others


10. Do not live merely for yourselves, but also for the good of others. Selfishness contracts the soul, and hardens the heart. The man absorbed in selfish pursuits is incapable of the sweetest, noblest joys of which our nature is susceptible. The Author of our being has ordained laws, according to which the most exquisite pleasure is connected, not with the direct pursuit of our own happiness—but with the exercise of benevolence. On this principle it is, that he who labors wholly for the benefit of others, and as it were forgets himself—is far happier than the man who makes himself the center of all his affections, the sole object of all his exertions. On this principle it was, that our Savior said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Resolve, therefore, to lead lives of usefulness. Be indifferent to nothing which has any relation to the welfare of men. Be not afraid of diminishing your own happiness, by seeking that of others. Devise liberal things, and let not covetous or avarice shut up your hand from giving to him who has a genuine need, and to promote the cause of piety and humanity.

– Archibald Alexander; Counsels of the Aged to the Young (See here for more info)

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