Chekhov’s winged phrase that “everything must be beautiful in a person: both face, and clothing, and soul, and thoughts,” is widely known. Everyone can formulate the main idea of this statement in his own words, and I define it for myself so: every person should try not only to make his face and clothes clean and beautiful, but so that thoughts, soul and actions are as neat.
It is difficult, very difficult to follow the wise Chekhov in our everyday life! For the face and clothes still somehow to watch it turns out, but here’s the soul and thoughts… They are trying to do something mean and throw our own selfish nature! They force us to betray a friend, we are forced to scratch our hands in the hope of snatching a bigger piece, they are made dirty from contact with the abominations that others do… What should we do, Anton Pavlovich, if I’m not as wise as you? Where to get strength? But there must be salvation! Otherwise, we would all be mired in sin, become stale and cruel, we would forget how.
And salvation, in my opinion, consists in attentive reading of the great works of world literature! Reading this should teach us something good, not just entertain. Reading Griboedov’s “Woe from Wit” or Pushkin’s poetry, we must “try” on ourselves the feelings and thoughts of the positive characters of their works, try to do so that both your thoughts and your soul become gradually as subtle and beautiful.
Salvation from dirt is in another great book – in the Bible! There everything is quite clear: lies and impure aspirations are bad; truth and faith are right and wonderful. Of course, we need to look for some other sources that will help in saving the soul and thoughts from the surrounding mud.