Clear Away the Rubbish!
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Mount Lebanon, N.Y.: The Lebanon Press,
Lebanon Leaves. Hope Series No., [n.d.]


   Did you ever at night-fall recall the conversation you have heard during the day? If so, have you not been appalled at the poverty of expression of most of your acquaintances?
   Maybe the weather has been a blaze of golden splendor for several weeks, but let the last contain two snowy days and you are sure to be told, by nine among ten people you meet, that "the weather has been so perfectly terrible of late--so depressing and so disagreeable to get about in." Why do people so soon forget the sunshine and so harp upon the shadow?
   If you are a grumbler of this sort, set about it at once to reform yourself. Let the weather--the bad weather--tell its own story. Surely it has voices enough without yours.
   If you must tell about the elements, do say something good about the stormy days. Say that the rains are clearing the gutters, carrying away impurities from the street, laying the dust and refreshing the fields: that the snows are giving thousands of poor people work to do and preparing the earth for good harvests.
   Say that gray skies are good for spiritual growth: they lead one to be introspective and thoughtful. It is a poor mind that depends on a clear sky for cheerfulness. Do not admit that a dark day makes you "blue and morbid." It is a confession of poverty of mental resources  Deny it even to yourself and overcome it if it is so, and, having dropped this topic from your list, let me beg of you to discontinue any relation of your physical ills.
   Not only are you boring your listeners with unpleasant subjects, but you are building brain cells of diseased thought for yourself. Dr. Gates has proved that in an hour by the display of colored lights a color cell is developed in the brain of a rabbit born and bred in a dark room. Many other experiments made by him certainly prove that thoughts are building brain cells for us. So every time we let our minds dwell upon our diseases we are forming cells of diseased thought which render it harder and harder for us to be well, and when we force our friends to think of our ailments we inflict a like injury on them,
aside from the fact that we bore them inexpressibly.
   Once let all these commonplace and disagreeable topics drop from your mind and you will be surprised and charmed with the variety of pleasing and agreeable subjects for conversation which will present themselves to you, just as when you pull rank weeds out of the garden soil ferns and flowers spring into view.
   There is so much to interest you in an age like this, so much to think and discuss beside storm and disease and gossip. He who is silent and watches plants, insects and animals awhile may write another book of Revelation when he will. Such patience, such system, such wisdom, such love and enlightenment as one who has an alert eye will see in these silent kingdoms--all interesting subjects for thought and speech.
   Then there is the vast beautiful science of spirit ruling matter, with its wonderful facts and its yet unfathomed possibilities, which is an ever interesting and profitable topic of conversation.
   Therefore why should any of us harness our speech to dump carts of weather, disease, and scandal?

"The Words of my Mouth."

TALK HAPPINESS. The world is sad enough
Without your woe. No path is wholly rough.
Look for the places that are smooth and clear,
And speak of them to rest the weary ear
Of earth, so hurt by one continuous strain
Of mortal discontent and grief and pain.

TALK FAITH. The world is better off without
Your uttered ignorance and morbid doubt;
If you have faith in GOD, or man, or self,
Say so; or else push back upon the shelf
Of silence all your thoughts till faith shall come.
No one will grieve because your lips are dumb.

TALK HEALTH. The dreary, never-changing tale
Of mortal maladies is worn and stale;
You cannot charm, or interest, or please,
By harping on that minor chord,--disease.
Say you are well, or all is well with you,
And GOD shall hear your words and make them true.