( Originally Published Early 1900's )
EACH and every person has a hobby, and rides it regardless of fashion. Some fish, hunt, row; others gather stones, plants, postal stamps, souvenirs; again some are cranks on baseball, football, golf, lawn tennis, and so forth. Others participate in sports which are dangerous to health, and which they sooner or later regret. The hobby of all great men was and is some outdoor exercise or sport. It seems that the much, occupied intellect demands sunlight and fresh air. He can be well satisfied whose hobby leads him out of the city into nature's beautiful garden. The blue sky, blooming plants, green trees ; the brooks, creeks, rivers, in which the fishes play, are wonders which everybody should understand. To study the lives of plants and animals not only broadens our knowledge, but it shows us how important our life is, and how important to pre-serve it. To preserve vitality is no secret, still it is deplorable that every daily newspaper carries pages of advertisements for sick young people. This necessitates serious thinking and warning, as those life-preservers are not of great reliability and often do more harm than good. Everybody knows, or should know, that outdoor exercises increase vitality and health. Why not have a hobby for a clean, strong, vigorous, healthy body?
Growth requires exercise. The child before school age in-vents games, which express its genius. Its imagination creates the necessary exercise for the intellectual and more for its physical development. In the modern schools the curriculum carries suitable exercises to develop the motor area of the brain, causing a more harmonious education of mind and body. So we keep the executive office of our body, "the brain," the seat of intelligence, in constant practice. This is the will of a superior spirit, whom we follow.
In the battle of life all good deeds are antagonized by an evil spirit. The struggle is fierce. To make the good win is our duty, not only for our benefit, but for those who come after us. If the "good" once wins a complete victory over the "bad," this world will become a paradise. Self-knowledge is the key for the lock that opens the door. Learn to know yourself, and then learn to govern yourself, and you help to win. It is true that the "evil" wins often, but that's worth fighting. The good deeds live and multiply also, and a peaceful and pleasant future is the reward.
Immediately after leaving school the young people look after some "pastimes" and then the foundation of the hobby is laid. To imitate their honest and faithful teachers, to obey their parents who with hard work and sleepless nights looked so long over their welfare, seems the right thing to do. Not all do that. The young boys and girls have ideas of their own, which is not wrong, as long as they tend to do and to follow the good. But it is far better to follow or to imitate a good example than to execute one's own bad ideas. In this period of self-development, the young people should listen to the advice of elders. Experience, the great factor in education and in any undertaking, is on their side, and out of their sorrows and regrets we ought to learn how to live a happier life. The one who can look with pleasure over the past, can look with pleasure into the future. The one who wins over the evil spirit has gained happiness.
Choose a hobby that benefits you. Be honest and clean to yourself. Make a habit of outdoor exercises. Seep a sound mind in a sound body. Whoever possesses a sound mind in a sound body plays an honorable part in the world's comedy.