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THOUGHTFULNESS AND TACT.pdf

THOUGHTFULNESS AND TACT.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.



" Evil is wrought by want of thought
As well as want of heart."

SOME people have a wonderful way of always
speaking a kind word or doing a kind act at
the right time — -just when it is most needed and will
do the greatest good. No matter when we meet
them, they seem, as by some unfailing inspiration,
to understand our mood and to have something
precisely suited to it — a bit of sunshine for our
gloom, a word of cheer for our disheartenment, a
gentle but never offensive reminder of duty if we
are growing remiss or neglectful, an impulse to
activity if our zeal is flagging, or a word of gener-
ous commendation and delicate praise if we are
weary and overwrought.
BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D.



" Evil is wrought by want of thought
As well as want of heart."

SOME people have a wonderful way of always
speaking a kind word or doing a kind act at
the right time — -just when it is most needed and will
do the greatest good. No matter when we meet
them, they seem, as by some unfailing inspiration,
to understand our mood and to have something
precisely suited to it — a bit of sunshine for our
gloom, a word of cheer for our disheartenment, a
gentle but never offensive reminder of duty if we
are growing remiss or neglectful, an impulse to
activity if our zeal is flagging, or a word of gener-
ous commendation and delicate praise if we are
weary and overwrought.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Oct 30, 2013
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THOUGHTFULNESS AND TACT.BY JAMES RUSSELL MILLER D.D." Evil is wrought by want of thoughtAs well as want of heart."SOME people have a wonderful way of alwaysspeaking a kind word or doing a kind act atthe right time — -just when it is most needed and willdo the greatest good. No matter when we meetthem, they seem, as by some unfailing inspiration,to understand our mood and to have somethingprecisely suited to it — a bit of sunshine for ourgloom, a word of cheer for our disheartenment, agentle but never offensive reminder of duty if weare growing remiss or neglectful, an impulse toactivity if our zeal is flagging, or a word of gener-ous commendation and delicate praise if we areweary and overwrought.There is a wondrous power in fitness. A kind-ness that, standing apart from its occasion, seemsutterly insignificant takes on importance and as-183184 WEEK-DAY RELIGION.siimes an inestimable value because of its oppor-tuneness. It multiplies one's usefulness a hun-dredfold, a thousandfold, to know how to speak the right word or do the right thing just at theright moment and in the right way.Many people with the very best motives and in-
 
tentions and with truly large capacity for doinggood almost utterly fail of usefulness and throwtheir lives away because they lack this gift of tact. They perform their kindest deeds in such aninappropriate way as to rob them of nearly all theirpower to comfort or cheer. They always comea few minutes too late to be helpful. They speak the wrong word, giving pain when they wanted togive pleasure. They are always making allusionsto themes on which no word should be spoken.They are ever touching sensitive spots. When theyenter a home of sorrow, drawn by the truest sympa-thy, they are almost sure to make tender hearts bleedthe more by some want of fitness in word or act.They are continually hurting the feelings of theirfriends, oifending nearly every person they meetand leaving frowns and tears in their path. Everyone gives them credit for honesty of intention, andyet their efforts to do good mostly come to naughtor even result in harm. The sad part of it all isTHOUGHTFULNESS AND TACT. 185that their motives are good and their hearts full of benevolent desires. Their lives are failures becausethey lack the proper touch and do not know inwhat manner to do the things they resolve to do.Others may not have one whit more sincere orearnest desire to be useful. Their interest in peo-ple may be no truer, their sympathy no deeper,their love no warmer. They may have less ratherthan more natural power to give help. Yet be-cause of their peculiar and gentle tact they scattergladness all about them and are ever performingsweet ministries of good. Their suggestions of kindness do not come to them as after-thoughtswhen it is too late to render any help. They do
 
not blunder into all sorts of cruelty when they tryto alleviate sorrow. They come opportunely, likeGod's angels. Their thoughtfulness seems intu-itively to understand just what will be the bestword to speak or the kindest and fittest thingto do.When they are guests in a home, they have away of showing a grateful appreciation of thefavors and attentions bestowed upon them, and yetin so delicate a way as never to appear to flatter.When they feel it necessary to remind another of some remissness in duty, they do it so gently as186 WEEK-DAY RELIGION.not to lose the friend, but to draw him all thecloser. They possess the art of manifesting an in-terest — not feigned, but sincere — in each one theymeet, and succeed in leaving a pleasant impressionand a benign influence upon all.There are some who regard tact as insincerity orhypocrisy* They boast of their own honesty, whichnever tries to disguise a dislike for a person, whichbluntly criticises another's faults even at the priceof his friendship. They believe in truth in all itsbare ruggedness, no matter how much pain it maygive, and condemn all that thoughtful art whichregards human feelings and tries to speak the truthin such a way that it may not wound and estrange.They love to quote the woe against those of whomall men speak well, and that other saying of ourLord's — that he had not come to send peace, but asword. Their favorite prophet is Elijah, and theyrefer often to the biblical condemnation of certainwho prophesied smooth things. They mistakebluntness for sincerity. In the name of candor

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