Keep your eyes clean and your ears quiet and your mind serene. Breathe God’s air.
Work, if you can, under God’s sky.
But if you have to live in a city and live among machines and ride in the subways and eat in a place where the radio makes you deaf with spurious news and where the food destroys your life and the sentiments of those around you poison your heart with boredom, do not be impatient, but accept it as the love of God and as a seed of solitude planted in your soul.
If you are appalled by those things, you will keep your appetite for the healing silence of recollection. But meanwhile—keep your sense of compassion for the people who have forgotten the very concept of solitude.
You, at least, know that it exists, and that it is the source of peace and joy.
You can still hope for such joy. They do not even hope for it anymore.
–Excerpt from New Seeds of Contemplation, by Thomas Merton.
*(changed “His” to “God’s” and “men” to “people” to make language more gender-inclusive)