I believe in self-control, not in coercion. Coercion is based on
oppression, and results in fear and hatred. Self-control requires
courage and may be induced by love. A person will do many things for
those whom he loves which he would not ordinarily do. How many habits has
a person been able to break through love which he would never have the
strength to break without love?
And when the love is universal love, all habits which are detrimental,
either to the individual or to the social order, will be dissolved in its
It is the same with the economic situation you were asking me about.
There is a very close connection between a man's character and his
circumstances, between his internal environment of thoughts and
desires and his external social environment. "As within, so without' is
If a man is dissatisfied with his environment, it is usually because
he does not know how to properly adjust himself to the environment.
Instead of thinking, how can I get out of this? And becoming
discouraged and depressed, one should think, what is the lesson that I
should learn from this experience?
Poverty, if cheerfully endured, and providing one does one's best to
find work, develops humility and patience, and can greatly assist
spiritual progress. It is a test of character. I know it is difficult to
be cheerful when starving, but all worthwhile things are difficult.
Even millionaires are unhappy unless they have learned to think and