HARMONY AT HOME.
"I have recently married for the second time. My husband is a splendid man but his grown up children are not in harmony with me. Good people, but a different point of view. I make no pretensions to perfection, of course, but I do try to do the best lean."
This is the gist of several letters I have received from as many different women. I will answer them together.
When you enter a new home the matter of importance is not whether your new relatives harmonize with you, but whether you harmonize with them. It is for you to do all the adjusting.
This may seem hard, but it is not. It is an easier matter for one person to readjust her living than for a whole family to change. The family has not only its individual customs to hold each one, but its family customs as well; whilst you have left your family and have only your individual self to readjust. If you refuse to adjust yourself, for no matter what reason, you will act upon this family you have entered, as a red hot iron would act upon a pan of water--there'll be boil and bubble, toil and trouble and the family will fly to pieces. All because you came in with positive notions of your own which you insist upon enforcing.
But if you come into the family like a lump of sugar into a glass of water you will all, in time melt together and the whole family will be the sweeter and better for your coming. Whatever there is in you which is better and sweeter than their own ideas and customs will in time be absorbed by the family; for what is good is ever positive to the less good, and has a power of its own to convert; and every human soul, if left free, will eventually choose the good.
The only danger lies in your tilting your nose at their ways and ideas, and insisting upon your own. That rouses the sense of individuality in them and they then fight for their ways and ideas--then there's boil and bubble and sputter and flying apart.
Learn to vibrate with people where you can and keep still when you can't. Look for the little things you can enjoy together, and make light of the others. Recognize their right to differ from you, and REMEMBER that "all judgment is of God"--their judgment as well as yours.
All this differing of judgment among the people of earth is simply God reasoning out things. All the brains God has are your brains and mine. Just as in your brain you reason things for and against, wondering which is right and waiting for time and experience to decide; so God reasons one way through your brain and another and opposite way through my brain, and then rests and observes until the "logic of events" shall show him, and us, the point of real harmony. Just be still and let God think through your brain, and don't kick up a muss because he thinks out the other side of things through my brain, or your new relatives' brains.
Toleration is a great thing; but loving willingness to let God think out all sides of a question through all sorts of brains, is a glorious thing. Let's stand for our point of view when it is called for, but don't let's insist upon it. Let's remember always to use God's "still, small voice."
Do I need to tell you that what I have just said applies to you whether you have just married a second time or not? The whole world is our family, you know. Let's respect it and be kind to it, and trust it to recognize and appropriate our point of view just as far as is good for it. Let's be more interested in getting at the other points of view than insisting upon our own. That is the way we shall grow in wisdom and knowledge. And, too, that is the way we shall all get close enough together to really see the truth about things.