Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Found - A Symphony!

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.

This is by William Henry Channing and I found it on another blog I was perusing.  It just struck me and I had to post it on my sidebar.  Then I looked up Mr Channing and knew I had to share it with my readers.  I hope you found this as inspiring as I did.  Below is an article written ca. 1920 about Channing. 


TO LIVE CONTENT WITH SMALL MEANS.
This means to realize to the full the possibilities of life. Contentment means ABSENCE OF WORRY. It is only when free from worry that the brain can act normally, up to its highest standard. The man content with small means does his best work, devotes his energies to that which is worth while, and not to acquiring that which has no value.
TO SEEK ELEGANCE RATHER THAN LUXURY.
The difference between elegance and luxury is the difference between the thin, graceful deer, browsing on the scanty but sufficient forest pasture, and the fat swine revelling in plentiful garbage.
REFINEMENT RATHER THAN FASHION.
The difference between refinement and fashion is the difference between brains and clothing, the difference between an Emerson or a Huxley and a Beau Brummel or other worthless but elaborately decked carcass.
TO BE WORTHY, NOT RESPECTABLE.
In other words, to be like Henry George, and not like the owner of a trust.
WEALTHY, NOT RICH.
The man who has a good wife and good children, enough to take care of them, but not enough to spoil them, is WEALTHY. He is happier than the man who is RICH enough to be worried, rich enough to make it certain that his children will be ruined by extravagance, and perhaps live to be ashamed of him.
TO LISTEN TO STARS AND BIRDS, BABES AND SAGES, WITH OPEN HEART.
This means to enjoy the noblest gifts that God has given to man. He is happy who takes more pleasure in a beautiful sunset than in the sight of a flunky with powdered hair, artificial calves and lofty manners, handing him something indigestible on a plate of gold.
TO STUDY HARD; TO THINK QUIETLY, ACT FRANKLY, TALK GENTLY.
To exercise in this way the brain that is given to us is to lead the life of a MAN, a life of self-control, a life that is worth while, that leads to something and helps forward the improvement of the race.
In the words which we have quoted at the top of this column William Henry Channing has given a recipe for wise living. ----
WHO WAS CHANNING?
He was a good man, and a wise man. He was one of the most eloquent clergymen ever born in this country, and as sincere a friend of individual man and of the race in general as ever lived.
He was an enthusiast and an optimist--admirable combination.
He was born in 1810, and died in 1884. His biography has been written by Octavius B. Frothingham.
Channing saw the world through generous, charitable eyes.
He was an ardent admirer of Charles Fourier, and appreciated the philosophy and social law-giving of that gigantic intellect.
The quotation we print above is an index to his whole character, just as one flower tells the story of the beautiful garden in which it grew.
Channing, unlike many sayers of fine things, was personally as fine as the things he said. He was worthy even of his own best thoughts, and that can be said for few fine thinkers.
Admire him. Read some of his sermons and other writings if you have the chance.

Source: "William Henry Channing's Symphony" by Arthur Brisbane (an editorial from the Hearst Newspapers, ca. 1920)
 *
Here is a link to a one page biography online:

For a Unitarian he seems to be very Orthodox, at least with this quote.

11 comments:

stitchinfiend said...

Thank you for sharing that it was lovely

Von said...

Great words indeed, I may have to borrow them too as it so well sums up how I try to live.Thanks!

Von said...

PS did just that and asked people to pass it on,it so deserves to be shared widely.Well done you for finding it and posting it.
Please feel free to share anything off my blogs you might want to.

June said...

An entire philosophy in a few lines.
Very timely for me!

Fire Byrd said...

Came here from Von's place. What a lovely post. The peace just exudes from it.

Lord Wellbourne said...

Well, Lady H.---I think you have hit upon yet another maxim of both our lives. It so sums up the way we once shared a home, don't you think? Just as much as the Wm. Morris quote if not more so. I am glad you found it and even more glad you shared it.

ladyhawthorne said...

yup, sounds just like us Lord W! It still is how we both live I know!

Amy said...

Thank you so much for sharing.

Von said...

The William Morris post has always been a favourite especially as taken on boad by our first female garden designer, Edna Walling, who hand built her own simple cottage.
What a blessing this lovely blog is and so pleased other are enjoying this great post.

ladyhawthorne said...

Thank you all for all the nice compliments. I like to share good things I find and its nice to know others appreciate them too.

kanishk said...

Great words indeed, I may have to borrow them too as it so well sums up how I try to live.Thanks!
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