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The Care Of The Health
We have shown that a man's success depends largely upon his working power and that it is contingent upon sound digestion and healthy blood. Hence the care of the physical health becomes of prime importance. Nothing is more necessary for the man of affairs to know, than how to keep. his body in good working trim.
The Need Of Recreation
In the words of the old adage, All work and no play make jack a dull boy. But we seem to think that the conditions of boyhood do not extend to manhood. We have forgotten the adage, and the spirit of all work has taken a very firm hold upon our American life. In business and in social life, the element of rest and recreation is almost entirely wanting.
Sporting Craze
There is one tendency in our American life which a careful student of history cannot help viewing with alarm; a tendency which, if not checked, will one day complete the moral degradation of society. This tendency is now only in its beginning; but it has assumed vast proportions and is growing rapidly with each passing year.
The Utility Of An Education
Education is the most popular sentiment of modern times. It has been called the cornerstone of State and the safeguard of free institutions.
Education And Growth
The word Education is derived from a Latin verb, which means to bring up a child. This verb is, in turn, derived from another, which means to lead forth, or, less literally, to develop. The etymology of the word happily illustrates the true import of the process of education.
Practical Education
The present age is intensely progressive and practical. Men enter upon the duties of life with a hopskip-and-jump. They can brook no delay. They invest capital with lavish hand and demand immediate returns. They rush from one business enterprise to another with a suddenness that would have taken away the breath of an ancestor. Moderation is a virtue unknown to the men of our time.
In School And Out Of School
Graduation day is a great turning point in the lives of our young people. From childhood they have been at their books and exercises. They have pursued their studies with unwearied diligence, and have gone through many grades of promotion up to the last mile-post of their school life.
The Place And Value Of Professional Education
The utility of professional culture has now passed beyond doubt. It is everywhere conceded that special training for those pursuits, in which the highest interests of mankind are at stake, is a practical necessity.
Industrial Education
No discussion of practical education can take place at the present time without an emphatic declaration in favor of training for industrial pursuits. No doubt mind training forms the natural basis for true education, but it is equally true that an educated person should derive some assistance from his studies when he comes to earn his livelihood.
Education Will Not Save Us
There is great danger of placing too high a value upon education. In this country we have been taught extravagant notions in regard to its beneficial influences upon life and life work. Those who discuss educational problems talk in the most exalted terms of the improvement of the individual and the perfecting of society under the stimulus of mind training.
The Value Of Pleasing Appearance
One of the most important factors of a good and useful life is that combination of courtesies which go to make up pleasing address. In the great majority of instances a man is judged by appearances. Few people have the time or inclination to inquire into a man's motives and analyze his character before passing judgment upon him.
Dress
If I had my life to live over again, - said Horace Mann, - I would pay more attention to dress and address.
Fashion In Dress
I suppose most of my readers have heard the story of the profane Irishman, who lost a load of potatoes out of his cart as he was going up hill. Looking around, and coolly taking in the situation, he deliberately took off his hat and said he would not swear, because he could not do the subject justice.
Morals Of The Dress Question
Extravagance in dress is a constant source of temptation and trouble to those who have to earn their own living and that of those dependent upon them. Few people have the courage to wear old clothes until they can afford to buy better ones.
Address An Index Of Character
A person's manner is generally a good index of his character. We have already shown that a gentle manner is simply working out the sentiments of a kind heart. We believe that it naturally rests upon sincerity and those inner graces of the soul, that belong to noble character.
The Failure Of Etiquette
Etiquette is but a substitute for good manners and a poor one at that. It is often only a base counterfeit of courtesy. True politeness goes much deeper than artificial rules learned from a book on manners, and no person who is a snob can be anything else but a snob after he has become proficient in the superficial arts of etiquette.
The Joking Propensity
The perpetual joker is never a good companion, nor is he habitually polite. He must have his joke and that cannot be had, in countless cases, without offering an affront and leaving a sense of sorrow behind. It is positively dangerous to have a Joker among a party of friends.
Balance Wheel
In some of our rolling mills can be seen a pair of shears, used in cutting up old railroad bars. A huge iron beam is hung on a pivot and made to work on a long leverage. With all the ease of a boy cutting wire with a pair of pliers, this machine exerts a force of many hundred tons.
Principle Versus Hobby
We have just seen that principle is a right rule of conduct, and that its influence upon life and character is always good. But there is a certain abuse of principle, which all right-thinking people greatly deplore. This is popularly known as riding a hobby.
The Power Of Principle
Men of real moral principle command the spontaneous homage of mankind. It is natural to feel attached to them, to look up to them, to imitate them. They are the bulwarks of society and have always been the leaders of the great enterprises of the world. Such men have certain well-defined principles that rule their lives and actions.
Character As An Outgrowth Of Principle
Passing along the paths of a cemetery and reading the inscriptions upon the tombstones, one is impressed with the fact that men are soon forgotten when they die. They are laid to rest and their names chronicled upon slabs and statues to mark the place where they lie.
Character And Accomplishment
When the pioneers of the Western Reserve left their early homes in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and went into the distant wilderness to reclaim it from the bear and wolf, they carried with them keen-edged axes and sharp-toothed saws.
Self-control And Self-reliance
In self-control is to be found one of the highest elements of true success. To have one's powers in hand ready for instant action, is the highest attainment of man. To be self-restrained and not impulsive, to be self-balanced in every emergency, to be equally poised at all times, is to possess the very potentialities of greatness; for in the self-reliant man all true greatness dwells.
The Value Of Self Control
Other things being equal, the man who has his powers thoroughly under control, ready for decisive and vigorous action is the strongest man. He may be no wiser than one who fails. His powers may be even less ; but he is ready when the call of duty comes and is well started on his task before the dawdling man begins.
Cry For Help
It is said that one species of the lobster is sometimes left upon the rocks by the receding tide. When so left the poor animal has not sufficient instinct and energy to work its way into the water, but waits for the returning tide to float it from its temporary prison.
The Value Of Self-reliance
How different from this cringing cry for help is the spirit of self-reliance ! That spirit that does not wait for dead men's shoes. That quality of character that is aggressive in attitude, prompt in action, and energetic in the accomplishment of whatever is to be done.
Elimination Of Self
The spirit of self-reliance might be falsely considered a spirit of self-sufficiency and self-conceit. But it is far removed from these contemptible counterfeits of power. The self-reliant man has accurate knowledge of his powers and abilities and never strains these powers too far.
Miles Et Virtus
The Roman soldier was one of the bravest of his kind. He could face the most deadly perils with transcendent coolness. He could face the shock of battle without flinching and win victories where other soldiers would fail. The Roman armies were drilled in tactics that would seem very strange to modern warfare.
Some Forms Of Cowardice
Society is permeated with false notions, born of indolence and cowardice. People everywhere are passing as martyrs, whereas they are only cowards. They suffer, but it is the suffering of fear and not of persecution. They long for the honors and emoluments of high position, but are not willing to pay the inevitable price for them.
Some Examples Of Courage
But there are times in life when there is need of great heroism. When a man is called upon to take a stand against evil and fight with all his force against wrong. Such a time came to the late lamented John B. Gough, as he stood by the railroad with the phial of laudanum in his hand, ready to take his own life.
Energy Of Power
Energy is the power of doing work, the capacity which a man or a machine possesses to do things with ease and dispatch. In the horse, energy is that power of body which enables him to draw the carriage swiftly along the street, or carry his rider proudly to battle. In the locomotive the expansive power of steam is applied to machinery to overcome resistance and make difficult tasks easy.
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