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Art, especially the stage, is an area where it is impossible to walk without stumbling. There are in store for you many unsuccessful days and whole unsuccessful seasons: there will be great misunderstandings and deep disappointments… you must be prepared for all this, expect it and nevertheless, stubbornly, fanatically follow your own way.
So my doctor told me to watch what I’m eating – to read food labels. I’m in the store reading the Fig Newtons label: I’ve always liked Fig Newtons. I’m reading the label to make sure everything’s fine: fat content. I looked at the serving size; two cookies. Who eats two cookies? I eat Fig Newtons by the sleeve: two sleeves is a serving size. I open them both and eat them like a tree chipper; Fig Newton shavings coming off the side.
The act of willingly subtracting from one’s own limited store of the good and the agreeable for the sake of adding to that of others reflects the understanding that individual happiness needs a base broader than the mere satisfaction of selfish passions. From there, it is not such a large step to the realization that respecting the susceptibilities and rights of others is as important as defending one’s own susceptibilities and rights if civilized society is to be safeguarded.
A well-informed mind is the best security against the contagion of folly and vice. The vacant mind is ever on the watch for relief, and ready to plunge into error, to escape from the languor of idleness. Store it with ideas, teach it the pleasure of thinking; and the temptations of the world without, will be counteracted by the gratifications derived from the world within.
We are in a great school, and we should be diligent to learn, and continue to store up the knowledge of heaven and of earth, and read good books, although I cannot say that I would recommend the reading of all books, for it is not all books which are good. Read good books, and extract from them wisdom and understanding as much as you possibly can, aided by the Spirit of God. (JD 12:124)
A star is drawing on some vast reservoir of energy by means unknown to us. This reservoir can scarcely be other than the subatomic energy which, it is known exists abundantly in all matter; we sometimes dream that man will one day learn how to release it and use it for his service. The store is well nigh inexhaustible, if only it could be tapped. There is sufficient in the Sun to maintain its output of heat for 15 billion years.
‘Nature is conquered by obedience’ – and her resistless energies are at our bidding, as soon as we, by knowledge, work with them and not against them. We can choose out of her boundless stores the forces that serve our purpose in momentum, in direction, and so on, and their very invariability becomes the guarantee of our success.