39 Fixing Up the Run-Down Places
by Dr. David Dallas Jones
Every life coheres around certain fundamental core ideas whether we realize it or not. If I were asked to state the ideas around which my life and my life's work have been built it would seem that they were very simple ideas.
An old professor of mine used to say that "effort counts." "The surest thing in the world," he would say, "next to death is that effort counts." This I believe with all my heart.
We seldom realize the sense of glow, the sense of growing self-esteem, the sense of achievement, which can come from doing a job well. Just working at a thing with enthusiasm and with a belief that the job may be accomplished, however uncertain the outcome, lends zest to life.
If I were to start life again, I think I would do just what I have done in the past-this past having been done by mere chance. I would start at some task which very much needed to be done. I would start in a place which was run down and I would believe with all my heart that if the thing needed to be done and if effort were put into it, results would come for human good.
Too, from the outset, my wife and I have had the feeling that no matter what else we did in life, we had to devote our best thinking and our best living to our children.
Now that they are all grown, we have sincere satisfaction in the fact that trying to do a job and trying to earn a living did not take away from us this urgency to be and do so that our children could have a feeling of the importance of integrity, honesty and straightforwardness in life.
It seems to me far too often this is overlooked. We people in public life do the jobs we have to do and fail to save our own children. This second thing is important- doing the task you have to do but beginning at home to bring peace, love, happiness and contentment to those whom God has given you.
The third idea, around which I have tried to live and work, is that there is an overshadowing Providence that cares for one. Ofttimes struggles are too intense, too "eager beaverish" when, as a matter of fact, time and God can solve many problems.
Never in my life have I gotten away from the idea that God cares and that He provides that the forces of good in the world are greater than the forces of evil and that if we will lend ourselves to those forces, in the long run we have greater joy and happiness in the thing which we try to achieve.
This I learned from my mother as a boy. Although she was ill and although we were poor-as poor as people can be-I do not now recall a moment of discouragement in her presence. There was always an overpowering belief that God was in His heaven and that, as Joe Louis said, "God is on our side."
These things I believe with all my heart.