Children - Aspiration
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Aspiration is the desire for excellence pure and simple : the desire for excellence for its own sake; the desire for higher, purer and better things because they are higher and better; its rewards are, virtue, nobility of character, skill, and all the other high qualities which strong men and women prize and all the world admire.
"It is the number and kind of his aspirations," says Newell Dwight Hills in his work on "A Man's Value to Society," "that determine a man's place in the scale of manhood. Lowest of all is that great underclass of pulseless men, content to creep, and without thought of wings for rising. Mere drifters are they, creatures of circumstance, indifferently remaining where birth or events have started them. Having food and raiment, therewith they are content. No aspirations fire them, no ideals rebuke them, no visions of possible excellence or advancement smite their vulgar contentment. Like dead leaves swept forward upon the current, these men drift through life. Not really bad, they are but indifferently good, and therefore are material out of which vicious men are made. In malarial regions, physicians say, men of overflowing health, are safe because the abounding vitality within crowds back the poison in the outer air; while men who live on the border line between good health and ill, furnish the conditions for fevers that consume away the life. Similarly, men who live in an indifferent supine life, with no impulses upward, are exposed to evil and become a constant menace to society."