Industry And Integrity
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
1. "Seest thou a man diligent in business; he shall stand before kings."
"Next to sincerity, remember still thou must resolve upon integrity."
It would hardly seem to be necessary to point out the importance of these two elements in personality necessary for success. Strenuous individual application must be the price always paid for distinction ; excellence of. any sort is invariably placed beyond the reach of indolence. It is the diligent hand and head alone that maketh rich, in self-culture, growth in wisdom, and in business. Even when men are born to wealth and high social position, any solid reputation which they may achieve individually is only attained by energetic application, indeed it is not good for human nature to have the road of life made too easy. Better to be under the necessity of working hard and faring meanly, than to have everything done ready to our hand, and a pillow of down to repose upon. In-deed, to start life with comparatively small means seems so necessary a stimulus to work, that it may almost be set down as one of the conditions essential to success in life.
Necessity is always the first stimulus to industry ; and those who conduct it with prudence, perseverance, and energy will rarely fail. Viewed in this light, the necessity of labor is not chastisement, but a blessing—the very root and spring of all we call progress in individuals, and civilization in nations. It may, indeed, be questioned whether a heavier curse could be imposed on man than the complete gratification of all his wishes without effort on his part, leaving nothing for his hopes, desires, or struggles.
And what need we say of integrity, faithfulness, honor in word and deed? It is the mainspring of all life. Without the trust, without the confidence which integrity begets, the world's business could not be carried on. The habits of industry and integrity must begin in early life and be fostered through all the succeeding years. Their right foundations, their proper development, and the rewards of their continuance and full fruition, are all plainly to be seen; and he who practices these habits, and studies aright the examples of them, will go farthest to develop the kind of personality which makes for success.