Listen to episode 176 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Building Character & The Influence of Friendships. Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Theodore Thornton Munger.
Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: There are many turning-points when the question of success or failure is decided again and again. Life is a campaign, in which a series of fortresses are to be taken; all previous victories and advances may be thrown away by failure in the next. Nearly the last of these is companionship; if one wins the victory here, the reward of a prosperous life of character is within his reach.
At the risk of logically inverting my subject, I will speak first of friendship; and I must beg your patience while I put a foundation under my suggestions. If there were but one general truth that I could lodge in the mind of anyone or all men and women, it would be this: that true life consists in the fulfillment of relations. We are born into relations; we never get out of them; all duty consists in meeting them. The family, the community, the humanity at large — these are the sources of our primary and abiding duties, as well as of our happiness — the sum-total of ethics and spirituality.
It is not enough to love only our own family. Love is a great and wide passion, demanding various food and broad fields to range in. When one is only “all about family" they may have a sound nature, but it will not be a large or generous one; and they will shrink rather than expand with years, and sink into the inevitable sadness that attends old age.
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