By Grace Potter
IN the human heart it lies. The key to happiness. Men call the key love. In the sweet time of youth, every man and every maid knows where lies the key that will unlock happiness. Sometimes, they, laughing, hold the key in eager, willing hands and will not put it in the door for very bliss and waiting. Just outside they laugh and play and blow wild kisses to the world. The whole world of men and women, who in their youth found happiness in just that way, is gathered round to see it found again.
When at last the man and maid unlock the door and go in joy to find their happiness, the men and women who have been watching them bury their faces in their hands and weep. Why do they weep? Because they are thinking that soon other doors in life will be met by this man and maid and that there will be no keys to unlock them. They, themselves, could find no key.
They never thought of trying the key of love in all the doors of life. Long and wearily, eyes searching wide, hands eagerly groping, they have spent their time trying to find other keys. They have looked for and found knowledge. And tried that. Looked for and found fame. And tried that. Looked for and found wealth. And tried that. Looked for and found many, many other keys. And tried them all. And when at last they have lain down on their deathbeds, they have turned gray hopeless faces to the world and died saying, "We could not find the right key."
Some few, some very few, there are, who try the key of love in all life's doors. Radiant, they turn to the men and women about and cry, "Try love! It unlocks all other doors as surely as it does the first in life. Try love!"
And though their fellow beings see that these are the only ones in all the world who find happiness, they turn doubting from them. "It cannot be," they say, "that the key we used in youth should be used again in all the other doors of life." And so they keep on trying the keys that every disappointed, dying man calls out in warning voice will fail.
Only a few there are who learn—a very few—that love unlocks all other doors in life as surely as it does the first. Try love!
- Grace Potter, “Try Love,” Mother Earth 1, no. 1 (March 1906): 18-19.