Deadly Dulness

“We sit with our feet in a muddy pool, and every day of it we grow more fond.”—Russian Poet.

The apathetic majority.

Ninety out of every hundred women bury their minds alive. They do not live, they merely exist. After girlhood, with its fun and laughter and lightheartedness, they settle down into a sort of mental apathy, and satisfy themselves, as best they can, with superficialities —dress, for instance. There are thousands of women who live for dress. Without it the world for them would be an empty, barren place. Dress fills their thoughts, is dearer to them than their children; yes, even dearer than their pet dogs! What could heaven itself offer to such a woman? She would be miserable where there were no shops, no chiffons. The shining raiment of the spiritual world would not attract her, for she could not differentiate her own from that of others. And when beauty goes, and the prime of life with its capacity for enjoyment is long over, what remains to her? Nothing but deadly dulness, the miserable apathy that seizes on the mind neglected.

Mental neglect.

For it is pure neglect! To every one of us has been given what would suffice to us of spiritual life, but most of us bury it in the body, swathe it round with wrappings of sloth and indolence, and live the narrow life of the surface only. Scratching like hens, instead of digging and delving like real men and women, our true life becomes a shadow in a dream. Look at the stolid faces, the empty expression, the dull eyes, the heavy figures of all such! Do they not tell the tale of deadly dulness with its sickly narrative of murdered powers, buried talents, aspirations nipped in the bud, longings for better things suffocated under the weight of the earthly life?

Merely domestic.

We were never meant to narrow down to the circle of the home, in our thoughts at least. Yet this is what most of us do. To be domestic is right and good, but to be domestic only is a sinful waste of good material. Remember, oh massive matron! the days of girlish outlook into what seemed a rosy world. Think back to the days when it thrilled you to hear of high and noble deeds, when your cheeks flushed and your eyes brightened in reading of Sir Galahad and his quest, of the peerless Arthur and the olden days of chivalry, when deeds of “derring-do” on battlefield or in the humble arena of life set the pulses throbbing with quick appreciation.

The way out.

Is it all lost? All gone? Dead and buried? Is the spirit for ever outweighed by its fleshly envelope, the body? The earthly part of us is apt to grow overwhelming as the years roll on. But it can be fought against. We need not limit ourselves, as we so often do, to the daily round, the common task. There are wings somewhere about us, but if we never use them we shall soon forget we have them. What dwindled souls we have after a long life, some of us! “Whom the gods love die young,” with all their splendid possibilities undamaged by the weight of the flesh. But we can avert the awful apathy of the spirit if we will. We can live full lives, if only sloth will let us. Indolence is the enemy who steals our best and brightest part, and opens the door to the dulness that settles down upon us, brooding over the middle-aged, and suffocating the mental life.

Cultivating wider sympathie

How many of us women read the newspapers, for instance? The great world and its doings go on unheeded by us, in our absorption in matters infinitesimally small. We fish for minnows and neglect our coral reefs. “We deem the cackle of our burg the murmur of the world.” It fills our ears to the exclusion of what is beyond. And yet the news of the universe, the latest discoveries in science, the newest tales of searchings among the stars, to say nothing of the doings of our own fellow creatures in the life of every day, should

  By PanEris using Melati.

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