Being good natured

Being good natured

“It is so easy to be good natured that I wonder why anybody takes the trouble to be anything else,” wrote English writer Douglas Jerrold.

It is true that being good natured is very easy. All it takes is a caring smile, a warm handshake, a broad-minded attitude, a word of recognition and an honest appreciation for the good we see in others. 

Being good natured and teaching our children the rich dividends that such a disposition in life will yield, is particularly the need of the hour in a dog-eat-man world.  For, being good natured is a fortune in itself. Those who are good natured can sail through life because they have passports everywhere. They are welcomed by all and remain cherished in the hearts of those they acquaint. Universally, those who are loved are those who can give a heart-warming smile and have a cheerful outlook. This is what essayist Elbert Hubbard advised, “Whenever you go out of doors, draw the chin in, and greet your friends with a smile.”  The art of pleasing is the art of influencing people. As a thinker put it, “There is no policy like politeness, since a good-natured act often succeeds where the best tongue had failed!”

Being good natured often more than compensates for all the defects of nature. The most fascinating person is always the good-natured rather than one of greatest physical beauty. “A man’s own good breeding,” says Chesterfield, “is the best security against other people’s ill manners. It carries along with it a dignity that is respected by the most petulant”. 

It is a known fact that bees will not sting a man smeared with honey.  
An incident in the life of President Jefferson is popularly quoted to bring out the sanctity of being good natured. The late president of America was one day riding with his grandson, when they met a slave, who in due respect, took off his hat and bowed. The president reciprocated the salutation by raising his hat, though the grandson ignored the courtesy of the Negro. Observing this, the grandfather retorted, “Thomas, do you permit a slave to be more of a gentleman than yourself?” The little boy understood the significance of politeness and kindness of heart.

“Throw a bone to a dog,” observed a writer, “and he will run off with it in his mouth, but with no vibration in his tail. Call the dog to you, pat him on the head, let him take the bone from your hand and see how his tail will wag with gratitude.”

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