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life beautiful

The secret to a beautiful life

Not many years ago, there came to America a young man. He came from Japan. He was studying at one of the Universities of America. One day, this young Japanese meets his teacher—a professor in his college—and says to him, “Sir! May I speak?”

The professor says: “Speak out what you have to say.” And the young man says, “Tell me, how I may make my life beautiful. I do not expect you to speak to me of a creed or a dogma. I do not expect you to speak to me of a book or even of the Bible. But speak to me, master! of the ‘life beautiful’. How may I make my life beautiful?”

It is a question which springs also in our hearts. After several weeks, the young man comes again to the professor and says, “Sir! Today, I come to take leave of you, for I go back home. I return to Japan. I have finished my work here.”

The professor is surprised. He says to the student, “Last time, you said something concerning the ‘life beautiful’. Have you found the secret of the life beautiful?”

The professor then looks into the eyes of the student. They gleam with joy. And the young man’s face glows with a strange light. “Sir,” says the student, “I have found the secret of the ‘life beautiful’. And so, I go back home, treasuring this secret in my heart, the secret of the life beautiful.”

No separation between me and the poor and suffering ones, between me and the lowly ones! We are one, brothers!


And the professor, deeply surprised, says to the student, “Where, where, my brother! Where have you found the life beautiful?”

Then the young man with a quiver of emotion in his words says, “Sir! I left you weeks ago, and still the quest was in my heart, still the search was in my eyes, and still I went, from place to place, asking myself the question, where is the life beautiful? Here, in these big cities, in these crowded quarters, in houses of learning and civilisation, I find not what I have sought, again and again. And there were tears in my eyes, until I met an old man, a sage. Then I saw!”

“What did you see?” asks the professor. “Sir!” answers the student, “I saw the face of the old man was kindled. The eyes of the old man were bright, filled with light. And I spoke to the old man, saying, “You look so young! You are so happy!” And I asked him, “What is the secret of your youth? What is the secret of your happiness?” And the old man answered thus: From morning till night, I seek to serve. I am busy, working for others, trying to help others, trying to serve the poor, sending out my sympathy and love to those who stand in need of help and strength, serving them in this broken world.

“And, suddenly, this discovery shone within my heart that others are not apart from me but are a part of me. They are mine, as I am theirs. No separation between me and the poor and suffering ones, between me and the lowly ones! We are one, brothers! In the movement of one life, children of the one eternal, who shines in all forms on earth and sea. Then, O my brother! I found that the secret of ‘life beautiful’ was sympathy that went out to all. The secret is the love that never dies. Love and sympathy, I give henceforth to all. I have found the life beautiful.”

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