One hundred years ago today my grandfather was born. Though I never met him, I’ve always admired him from the stories I’ve been told and from his writing. Here’s the only prose reflection I’ve been able to find by him, a meditation of Shakespeare and Christ. I feel as though this gives some insight into how he became the man he was.
All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players………
These words, written so many years ago by that famous author and scholar, “William Shakespeare” have made an impression and never ceases to be a source of wonder to my mind.
Though written so long ago they have stood the test of time and the great thinkers of today still use portions of the writings of this man of long ago.
The continuance of the above, “they have their exits and entrances” furnishes food for thought, and were a man to enter into the spirit of the passage; would be a beautiful philosophy.
Looking at life from this point of view has made me over many a rough spot and many a trial or burden is made more endurable by substituting this passage of the play for the real experience.
After all, is it not a world of make believe? Do not humans, as a general rule love to labor under the delusion of “theory” rather than the settled and established fact?
Men are continually looking for a new religion, and many are the sects that base the greater part of their beliefs upon theory.
Just glance at our news stands, the modern trend seems to be towards such magazines as “astounding stories,” “wonder stories,” stories and theories such as “Buck Rogers” and “Flash Gordon.” There was a time when these stories were considered in the fairy tale class, but now are devoured by grown men and women with great gusto.
Taking all of this into consideration, perhaps you will find some excuse for a man taking his philosophy of life from the writings of a man who lived and died so many years before we were born.
Sometimes we are “cast” and are forced to play in a role that is extremely distasteful to us. Sometimes the other characters do not act and speak in a manner of which we can approve, but the great actor gives no sign of this, nor does he allow it to affect his act in any way.
We must always bear in mind that though the personality or the role of the other actors does not meet with our approval, yet the cast is formed and to attempt to change it would probably end in disappointment and failure. We cannot all be heroes and a play to be a success must appeal to all human emotions, love, grief, happiness, all work together to the one end of making the act a success.
Were it not for the rough spots we would not be able to appreciate the smooth places, were it not for the grief, could we recognize happiness at it’s time worth?
Yes, it takes all sorts of characters to make a play, and each one has his own parts and whether they be small or great they should be acted with all the good judgment, tact, and skill of the actor or they will have an evil effect, not only upon the other actor with which he comes in contact, but upon himself as well.
In the eyes of our great audience, our personal feelings must not affect our part, the play must go on and if we should fall by the wayside or be forced to make our exit before the appointed time, another will take our place, and on moves the act and we are soon forgotten.
Some writers have said that the entrance upon the scene does not make as much impression as does the manner in which the actor makes his exit; and they give that greatest of all characters and teachers, “Jesus,” as an example. His entrance was certainly nothing very elaborate but his exit has made an impression and has brought about a condition that will last though all the ages of eternity.
And this rule is true in all cases, no matter how small the part we have we must play it at our best, and when the end comes we must make our exit in a manner that will be a credit to our instructor.
Thomas Wainman Carpenter