Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Day-tight compartments

I have been reading an old book I picked up last week. It's called How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie (1948). Thus far, it is quite thought provoking - always important for me. I read a lot of books and if they can't tell me something new or tell me a message I am in the right space to hear, I put them down again.

These words, written by Thomas Carlyle, made an instant impact. "Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand."

These words made an impact on the famous Sir William Osler and he started a wonderful 'living revolution' that makes such wonderful, simple sense. He likened living for just today to a great ocean liner and said the following in a speech to Yale students in the early 20th century...

Now each one of you is a much more wonderful organisation than the great liner, and bound on a longer voyage. What I urge is that you so learn how to control the machinery as to live with 'day-tight compartments' as the most certain way to ensure safety on the voyage. Get on the bridge and see that at least the great bulkheads are in working order. Touch a button and hear, at every level of your life, the iron doors shutting out the Past - the dead yesterdays. Touch another and shut off, with a metal curtain, the Future - the unborn tomorrows! Then you are safe, safe for today! Shut off the past! Let the dead past bury its dead...Shut out the yesterdays which have lighted fools the way to dusty death. The load of tomorrow, added to that of yesterday, carried today, makes the strongest falter. Shut off the future as tightly as the past...The future is today...There is no tomorrow. The days of man's salvation is now. Waste of energy, mental distress, nervous worries dog the steps of a man who is anxious about the future...Shut close, then, the great fore and aft bulkheads, and prepare to cultivate the habit of life of 'day-tight compartments.'


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