The Greatest Thing in Life

I originally posted this years ago and thought it was a nice reminder for all of us given the time of year.  Merry Christmas and best wishes for a safe and prosperous new year!



By Orison Swett Marden
(from the December 1926 issue of Success Magazine)

If I were asked to express in a single word that, which I believe to be most valuable, most helpful to, human beings, I would say “Love.”  It is, indeed, “the greatest thing in the world.” It is the one thing that lifts man’s life to its greatest possible power and beauty. Without love the world is a desert; with love it blossoms like a rose.

The reason why the Christmas season is the most beautiful and joyous of all the year is because the very atmosphere is a-thrill with love. Celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Christ, men are moved by the spirit He brought into the old pagan world. For a few weeks, while the spirit quickens, the modern world is transformed, and Christians vie with one another in emulating Christ’s example. If this spirit could only be nourished and kept alive the whole year, this old earth would be transformed into a new Eden, and men and nations, instead of being ever ready to fly at one another’s throats, would all be working together for the common good.

Things are so constituted in this world that selfishness defeats its own end.  Fragrance and beauty do not exist in the unopened bud. It is only when it uncloses its petals and begins to give itself out to others that its loveliness is developed.

Refuse to open your purse and soon you cannot open your sympathy. Refuse to love and you will soon lose the power to love; your affections are paralyzed, your sympathy atrophied from selfish withholding and disuse; the very foundations of your heart dry up and your finer nature petrifies. But the moment you fling open the door of your heart and allow the rose of your sympathy and helpfulness to send out, without stint, its fragrance and beauty upon every passerby, you begin to develop power.

Only through the daily practice of love toward all with whom we come in contact can we win that which is the essence of God Himself – that beautiful spontaneous love for which all hearts hunger.

It will cost us nothing to scatter our flowers as we go along, and we shall never go over just the same road again. No matter how limited our means we can give a smile and a word of cheer to those who minister to our comforts, who help us in our daily work – the newsboy, the conductor, the waiter, the clerk, the porter on the train, those who serve us in our home. Opportunities for these are never lacking and the opportunities let slip to-day will never come back again. Kind words, a smile, a bit of encouragement or inspiration may seem but little things, of no account to many of us, yet they may be worth everything to · some lonely or discouraged soul famishing for sympathy and encouragement. And these little kindnesses by the wayside will come back to us in a thousand ways and give enduring satisfaction, for

“It is in giving, not in seeking gifts we find our quest.”

No one is so poor that he cannot give something. Love, which is the essence of the Christmas spirit, always finds some way to serve, for “love never fails.”

It is only love that can conquer the evils that are disturbing the world to-day. Nothing else can make men bury their differences, lay aside their hatred, their prejudices, their misunderstandings, and work together for the betterment of all.

Science and invention have annihilated distance, dissolved the physical barriers that kept peoples apart and prevented them from knowing one another. Love will dissolve the invisible barriers of the spirit and make every nation and every man see that they can prosper and be happy only in proportion to their observance of the Golden Rule.

About Mike Capuzzi

Mike is a publisher, Amazon # best-selling author, and coach for business owners, entrepreneurs and corporate leaders looking to stand out from the competition by authoring, publishing and leveraging short, helpful books. He is the author of 19 books, including two Amazon #1 Best Sellers. Learn more about his publishing opportunities at


  1. Alan Steacy on December 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for this wonderful piece. Indeed it is truly what Christmas and the season is about. Love your stuff. To you and your family, have a very merry Christmas.


    P.S. The calendar I just received from GKIC was awesome. It blew me away! I assume you got one too. Wouldn’t that be a great idea to pass along on your 3-in-3 TV spot?

    • Mike Capuzzi on December 25, 2010 at 10:16 am

      Thanks Alan. Merry Christmas to you too!

    • Michael Frank on December 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      This is a fine article which I am going to share with my friends. Thanks for making it available Mike. It is an inspirational message to bear in mind in the new year. Best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011.

      • Mike Capuzzi on December 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

        Thanks Michael! Best to you in 2011 too!

  2. Laura Maurer on December 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Hello, Mike:

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. I wonder what the world would be like if 85 years ago, just half the planet’s population had taken his words to heart? Even one tenth of all people…geez, it’s an awesome thought, isn’t it?

    I’m going to pass this along (and try to get 10% of us moving forward!!)

    Merry Christmas, Mike and a happy, healthy, prosperous new year to you and your family!


    • Mike Capuzzi on December 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

      Laura… I agree… imagine that. Miss you seeing you at GKIC-Philly! Expect some new exciting things in 2011 for our local group!

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