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..."Lord, the truth is for thee alone; give me the pursuit." The joy of life is to put out one's power in some natural and useful or harmless way. There is no other. And the real misery is not to do this. The hell of the old world's literature is to be taxed beyond one's powers. This country has expressed in story--I suppose because it has experienced it in life--a deeper abyss of intellectual asphyxia or vital ennui, when powers conscious of themselves are denied their chance.
The rule of joy and the law of duty seem to me all one.I confess that altruistic and cynically selfish talk seem to me about equally unreal. With all humility, I think "Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might," infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love one's neighbor as one's self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing, you must have all your will in a focus, you must not be thinking about yourself, and, equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor; you must be living in your eye on that bird. Every... Holmes Jr., Oliver Wendell
Excerpt from Modern Eloquence: Vol II, After-Dinner Speeches E-O · This quote is about duty · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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