The Importance of Joy

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There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.
By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Do what you love and the money will follow?  Could that saying be true?  Should a love of writing guide our efforts?  And what of opportunities to sell out?  To write what we suspect will earn money and fame over the heartsongs that truly inspire?

Through this series that revisits 19th century authors, BriteLites invites discussion of topics that remain important to WordSmiths. This fourth excerpt from Robert Louis Steven’s “The Morality of The Profession of Letters” encourages.

But, did the author of Kidnapped and Treasure Island’s lifestyle reflect his beliefs?  See his home in this week’s “Worth A Look” video.

Whatever be your calling, and however much it brings you in the year, you could still, you know, get more by cheating. We all suffer ourselves to be too much concerned about a little poverty; but such considerations should not move us in the choice of that which is to be the business and justification of so great a portion of our lives; and like the missionary, the patriot, or the philosopher, we should all choose that poor and brave career in which we can do the most and best for mankind.

Now nature, faithfully followed, proves herself a careful mother. A lad, for some liking to the jingle of words, betakes himself to letters for his life; by-and-by, when he learns more gravity, he finds that he has chosen better than he knew; that if he earns a little, he is earning it amply; that if he receives a small wage, he is in a position to do considerable services; that it is his power, in some small measure, to protect the oppressed and to defend the truth.

So kindly is the world arranged, such great profit may arise from a small degree of human reliance on oneself, and such, in particular, is the happy star of this trade of writing, that it should combine pleasure and profit to both parties, and be at once agreeable, like fiddling, and useful, like good preaching.

WORTH A LOOK – Stevenson’s Lifestyle (1:38 min)

A BEAUTIFUL FILM PROJECT

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One thought on “The Importance of Joy

  1. I love what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the good works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

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