And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honour'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy."
Ulysses reasons that to avoid boredom, he must not remain in one place:
"How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use."
This last couplet can be broadened to mean: Wherever you are, shine, shine in use. Or, "whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, … do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).
"Let Your Light Shine among Men"
Everyone can shine in use regardless of circumstance. Beethoven did. Jesus, who was the light of the world even on Calvary, exhorted his followers to let their light shine before all men; it was impossible to hide their light under a bushel basket (Mt 5:15 ).
In his Letter to the Philippians (2:14-15), St. Paul urges: "Do all things without murmuring and arguing, so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like the stars." The first aspect of our lives that can be made to shine is our personalities. They're with us all the time. Developing a first-class temperament to shine in use should be a primary concern.
(Column continues below)
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Speaking through Portia in "The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare writes as though paraphrasing scripture:
"How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world."