I am standing upon the seashore.<br/>A ship at my side spreads her white<br/>sails to the morning breeze and starts<br/>for the blue ocean. <br/><br/>She is an object of beauty and strength. <br/>I stand and watch her until at length <br/>she hangs like a speck of white cloud <br/>just where the sea and sky come <br/>to mingle with each other.<br/><br/>Then, someone at my side says;<br/>There, she is gone!<br/><br/>Gone where?<br/>Gone from my sight. That is all. <br/>She is just as large in mast and hull <br/>and spar as she was when she left my side <br/>and she is just as able to bear her <br/>load of living freight to her destined port.<br/>Her diminished size is in me, not in her.<br/><br/>And just at the moment when someone<br/>at my side says, There, she is gone!<br/>There are other eyes watching her coming,<br/>and other voices ready to take up the glad<br/>shout;<br/>Here she comes!<br/>And that is dying.
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children; to remember the weaknesses and lonliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and to ask yourself if you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thougts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open? Are you willing to do these things for a day? Then you are ready to keep Christmas!