English Literature

Eclectic School Readings: Stories from Life by Orison Swett Marden

Eclectic School Readings Stories from Life by Orison Swett Marden.jpg


For the structure that we raise,
Time is with materials filled;
Our to-days and yesterdays
Are the blocks with which we build.


To-day! To-day! It is ours, with all its magic possibilities of being and doing. Yesterday, with its mistakes, misdeeds, lost opportunities, and failures, is gone forever. With the morrow we are not immediately concerned. It is but a promise yet to be fulfilled. Hidden behind the veil of the future, it may dimly beckon us, but it is yet a shadowy, unsubstantial vision, one that we, perhaps, never may realize. But to-day, the Here, the Now, that dawned upon us with the first hour of the morn, is a reality, a precious possession upon the right use of which may depend all our future of happiness and success, or of misery and failure; for

“This day we fashion Destiny, our web of Fate we spin.”

Lest he should forget that Time’s wings are swift and noiseless, and so rapidly bear our to-days to the Land of Yesterday, John Ruskin, philosopher, philanthropist, and tireless worker though he was, kept constantly before his eyes on his study table a large, handsome block of chalcedony, on which was graven the single word “To-day.” Every moment of this noble life was enriched by the right use of each passing moment.

A successful merchant, whose name is well-known throughout our country, very tersely sums up the means by which true success may be attained. “It is just this,” he says: “Do your best every day, whatever you have in hand.”

This simple rule, if followed in sunshine and in storm, in days of sadness as well as days of gladness, will rear for the builder a Palace Beautiful more precious than pearls of great price, more enduring than time.


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