Children - Emulation
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Emulation is the desire to equal or surpass others; a noble and praiseworthy sentiment when those we would equal and surpass are high-minded and true ideals, and when the means we use are worthy.
Emulation in school and college life is a desirable thing to foster; but it must be the desire to excel for the sake of excellence; not the mere desire to "down the other fellow." It should be the seeking of the best because it is the best. Many a boy and girl "nourishes a life sublime," full of emulation, desire and ambition. Parents should find out what are those which preoccupy their children; discourage the unworthy ones, and faster the noble ones. Teachers should find out what their students desire to excel in, and help them if they are in the right, discourage them if they are in the wrong, channels. Boys and girls can examine themselves and find out if the objects of their emulation are worthy or unworthy, if they are taught to do so by parents and teachers, who can thus foster ambition.
The desire to excel in sports and games is a laudable form of emulation. In order to do this self-denial is necessary and physical culture must be employed. The ethics of sport and the conditions of sport should be studied and understood. The rules of games should be known and the records which have rewarded training and prowess should be familiar to those who would equal or excel others.
The ideal men and women who have made our young republic a nation of first importance in the sisterhood of nations are worthy subjects of emulation, and a free use of American literature bearing upon the great names and the great deeds of American history should be made in order to cultivate this spirit.. A proper pride of country and a desire to follow in the steps of the great exemplars in American history are fostered by the study of American ideals.
The ambitious efforts of the heroes of travel, exploration and invention-their heroism, their perseverance and their achievements—may well excite our admiration and emulation.
We cannot all "go and do likewise," but we can all cultivate their spirit, in no matter what walk of life we find ourselves. We can all "by greatly daring, do"; and we can dare more and do better, by emulating the spirit of the men who have done things.
Other fit subjects for emulation are Morals, Manners, Behavior, Culture. Pattern yourself on the good man and woman, and you will insensibly become good.. Pattern yourself on the well-bred man or woman, and yon will become well bred without knowing it. Pattern yourself on the cultured man and woman, and you will gain culture. All these things are worthy of emulation. It is a worthy emulation to strive to become better than your models in these things.