Butter Rum Cartoon

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I grew up with the 20-volume set of Grolier's 1941 edition of The Book of Knowledge in our home. I would guess that my good parents bought it from a door-to-door salesman several years before I was born. We used it often, to look up subjects of interest and to help in schoolwork. Then I grew up and moved away, my father passed away in 1978 and my mother in 1996; and after Mom died I went through the painful process of choosing sentimental things in my parents' home for keepsakes. I remember staring at the Book of Knowledge set, wishing I could take it, but it was just too cumbersome for my 2000 mile trip home.

Miraculously, years later, I came upon the exact same edition at a book sale here in Branson MO - in even better condition than our old set - for only twelve dollars! Not being an idiot, I bought it; and not being a waster, I'm reading it, every volume, in order, cover to cover. I'm now on page 4069 in volume 11.

I just finished the fascinating article entitled The Real Master of the Body about the mind, what it is, and how it works. And I feel compelled to share with you the article's last two paragraphs. This is so important, especially nowadays.

"One of our great duties toward ourselves...is to fill our mind with things worth having, and worth being reminded of by association in after-years; to avoid foolish books, foolish talk, and things which it is not worth while to have in our minds at all; and to avoid things which are actually wicked or destructive. These may get into the mind by accident before we know what is happening, and at any moment we are liable to be reminded of them. Let us remember that there is no better treasure than a mind well filled with memories of noble things seen, noble sounds heard, noble ideas, great poetry, recollections of friends, and so on. A man with such a mind may say to himself, 'My mind to me a kingdom is,' or may talk with Wordsworth of 'that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude.' We cannot express too strongly the importance of filling the mind with good materials for association.

"The man who said, 'I am never alone when I am by myself' may not have been so conceited as he sounded. He meant, perhaps, that all the fine things he had heard and read came back to him when he was alone and furnished him with food for pleasurable thought. Such company is far better than that of empty-headed fools, and men and women who have filled their minds with the best things need not be lonely if they are without human companionship for a short time. Of course one would not like to live the life of a hermit, but the person who cannot endure being alone usually has little in his head."

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