Shake Off the Robes of Petty Purposes (Ethel Whitcomb Quote)

Shake Off the Robes of Petty Purposes (Ethel Whitcomb Quote)

Shake off the ropes of petty purposes

“We are all born for the universe… The moment one becomes self-mesmerized by the belief that his house, his time, his talents, or in fact anything that he has belongs to himself, he becomes circumscribed and small, soon to grow as useless and unlovely as a parched desert. What a change, however, when he awakes from the stupor of self-bound interests and realizes that it is his duty, his privilege, his joy, to use his time, his talents, his income, his every thought, for others. At this moment he becomes one with the law of expansion, one with the law of opportunity, and a clearer thinker, a more efficient doer; one whom God can use appears; the one-time barren consciousness, now irrigated by the streams of sacred purpose and selfless love, yields abundantly the fruits of health, usefulness, and joy…

There is nothing so joyous, so health giving, so important, or imperative as to bless mankind, and to have for one’s precious purpose to allow no thought to abide in his consciousness that will not bless and heal.

…Shake off the moth-eaten robes of petty purposes, the warped beliefs of human disposition and temperament, with all its erratic likes and dislikes, the finite illusions of human history, with its myths of flesh inheritance, all the cramped and compressed sorrows and dreads of self-living, to perceive the immensity and glory of life in God. ”

by Ethel Whitcomb a 100 years ago (as read here)

Shake off the ropes of petty purposes

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Heidi Clawson 5 years ago

    Thanks, Polly. Awesome photo of the reflected trees. Looks like Spring somehow.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 5 years ago

      Nope! January in Connecticut!

  2. Linda Giase-Froese 5 years ago

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing that article. Quite something to measure oneself against. And for the beautiful photography along with it.

  3. Deborah 5 years ago

    That’s a great quote Polly, thank you for sharing.

  4. Mary Jo Beebe 5 years ago

    An amazingly powerful article. If felt like a Martin Luther King speech to me. Articulate, creative, beautifully said. It leaves me wanting to read and reread it and be “larger.” Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

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