There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
No Place Like HomeGiphy
Leave it to one of the greatest writers of the 18th century to bring it home for all us introverts. I'm sure we can all recall a time in our lives when we wanted nothing more than to curl up in our flannel jammies, on our beat-up old couch and watch Friends rather than go out for a night on the town. Jane Austen, thank you for giving us the affirmation that it's totally cool to stay home.
Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.
This quote goes a bit deeper. We're all so busy, all the time, with everything in our lives...but how many of us leave something behind that makes a difference in the world? Our children, our sacrifices, you might ask? They may last a generation or two, but our legacies are connected to something more than just our physical accomplishments. Austen characterizes the flash of life as busy nothings, I suppose in all reality that our lives really are busy nothings. But it doesn't have to be. We have every opportunity to leave the world a better place than we left it and, sometimes, that might just mean taking life a little slower.
Nobody minds having what is too good for them.
Creepy killer shark aside, Austen has a point with this quote. It's easy for us to get caught up in what is, in all reality, too good for us. Maybe not even for us, but to us. I don't mind having a second brownie because, oh dear, how I love them. I suppose everyone has a proverbial "second brownie" which they simply can't resist. Austen makes it painfully clear that we as a species will readily accept anything that is too good for us. It makes me think about love and sacrifice. We are not good enough for love. Love from the Almighty, love from a spouse, love from a dog...and yet we receive it, happily, with open arms. Go figure. Humans need what is too good for them, only one example being love.
Selfishness must always by forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure.
I suppose selfishness is no different than every other human flaw, right? It will always be around no different than jealousy, hatred, insecurity, etc., but I love that Austen offers a simple anecdote about such a crisis as selfishness. Forgiveness lies at the bedrock of spiritual and religious faiths all around the world. I reckon there's a reason for that. In part, forgiveness is what holds our world together. Without it, the ever-weakening seams of our world would be strained to their breaking point, and pandemonium would surely be our future. I don't know about you, but chaos doesn't call out to me. I prefer tranquility.
There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.
Now, for all you men reading, don't turn off your brain quite yet. I might just give you some insight into your wife/girlfriend that you don't already have. Then again, maybe you're a rock star and already know everything you're about to read. Either way, keep reading.
There's nothing sexier than a man with a gentle heart. Yes, women like rock 'em sock 'em robot types, but we also like men that can be gentle, careful, soothing if you will. Tenderness of heart is the exact opposite of weakness, which many men fear. It seems to take courage for a man to have a tender spot, even for the women they love, and that's what makes it all the more beautiful.
Jane Austen may have written her most famous works over 200 years ago, but there's something about her writing that sticks with us, changes us if you will. I think that "thing" is that she so well understood the human spirit that her writing can relate to us all on a base level. She possessed the wisdom of heart and soul that many writers either failed to encompass or failed to personify in their writing.
In a strange sort of way, I'm thankful to see where humanity hasn't changed. We're still humanity, regardless of era.