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Weblog2001November
[Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
[Buddha] : Monks and scholars must not accept my words out of respect,
(via [PaperQuote]) [Ralph Waldo Emerson] : Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting.
Both Goals are accomplished very well... I installed Fink and later installed [Lynx]... Many websites look funny via Lynx
(via [Gleanings]) [The emergent new order|http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2001/11/28/emergence/index.html] : Feed magazine founder [Steven Johnson] explains how self-organizing systems are made to order for ants, cities, software and terrorists.
[Romy and Lisa]'s [Quotes and Poems|http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/7454/quotes.html]
(via [PaperQuote]) [Oliver Wendell Holmes] : What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
[Jutta Degener]'s Objective : To do spectacular and impossible things.
We went to [Salzburg] for the weekend. We will go again in Spring, Summer or Autumn and we have learnt some valuable lessons about Winter, Snow etc. !
[The Cathedral and the Bazaar] : ...Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer's personal itch...
Today is [Sri Skanda Sashti] - [Kanta Shasti Vratam|http://murugan.org/research/senthilwerl2.htm]
[Thomas Paine] in [The Age of Reason] : It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
After reading [Andre Durand]'s [Global Consciousness 1.0|http://discuss.andredurand.com/stories/storyReader$187], I have an idea about combining this thought with [Quaker]ism... Why not we implement a system where members can raise 1 issue per day and only 1 a day, Every other member can post their opinion after careful thought and it would be possible to edit the opinion only a few times within the next 1/2 hour ! and That's it ! - I will try to refine it !
([via|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/19#andBlogsNeedClay] [Doc Searls]) November 23rd is [Buy Nothing Day] , [Clay Shirky] needs a blog !
([via|http://owrede.khm.de/2001/11/15] [Oliver Wrede]) [Steve Hooker] : [Radio(Userland) and me|http://steveswar.warblogs.com/radioandme/]
A hypocrite is a person who professes beliefs and opinions that they do not hold
[Ralph Waldo Emerson] : "Shall I tell you the secret of the true scholar? It is this: Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him."
[Stephen Hawking] in [A Brief History of Time] : As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe. This was first pointed out by St. Augustine. When asked: What did God do before he created the universe? Augustine didn't reply: He was preparing Hell for people who asked such questions. Instead, he said that time was a property of the universe that God created, and that time did not exist before the beginning of the universe.
[http://www.carnatic.com/pictures/linkandthink.gif]
Later we went to Munich and waited in the [Marienplatz|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/deutsch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/marienplatz.htm] for the [Glockenspiel im Rathausturm|http://www.muenchen-tourist.de/englisch/stadtinformationen/plaetze/muenchen-stadtinformationen-sehenswuerdigkeiten-plaetze_e_m.htm]. But, in winter, it only happens once a day at 11AM !
Susan Dempsey (responsible for providing users with continued quality service from [HotLinks]) : ...Sadly, all good things must come to an end and this version will be subscription only...
I sent an email to [Jonathan Abrams] several months ago and he prompty responded by stating that 'the request will be forwarded to Development' - Let us see...
[George Orwell] : [Politics and the English Language]
On the island of Kauai .
[Mira Art] [quotes|http://surprise.editthispage.com/2001/11/08] Mark Twain : Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest.
[This Diwali has lost its sparkle|http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=2125046482] : ...Sampoorna Kohli, weaving his way through the small lanes of the Central Market in Lajpat Nagar, sums it up succinctly: "There is uncertainty for everyone. Nobody is feeling particularly festive what with jobs on the line and businesses doing badly. The light has already gone out of this Diwali."...
[Eric Margolis] : [ANTHRAX AND ABDUL HAQ: WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND|http://www.bigeye.com/foreignc.htm]
[Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi] : [50 Divine Thoughts]
[We] and [Chandramouli Mahadevan] went to [Linderhof] today
[http://static.userland.com/weblogsCom/images/86400weblogscom/flower002.gif]
[Swami Sivananda] : From [ABANDON BODY-CONSCIOUSNESS|http://www.dlsmd.org/sdr/11-sdr%20nov/1109.htm] : ...This body which is full of impurities, urine, pus and faecal matter etc., is perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by its enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when prana (life) leaves it. It is the cause of pain and suffering. It is your enemy. You should treat this body with contempt, as dung. Why should you cling to it and worship it with scents, powders and flowers? Do not be silly and foolish in adorning it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire ignorance only...
[Alwin Hawkins] : [New tag line|http://www.vfth.com/2001/11/10] and the cornerstone of a new ethic for me. : ''Work, Don't Whine''
[Doug Baron]: "I'm part of the Userland team now."
[Joel Snyder] ( commenting on an article about Bin Laden's family members leaving the USA : ...This whole article is offensive and the worst sort of journalistic sensationalism...
Fast Company's [Who's Fast 2002|http://www.fastcompany.com/online/52/wf_intro.html] : ...Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our fourth-annual Who's Fast issue arrives at a time when our feelings about work, life, business, and purpose need thoughtful recalibration...
[Doc Searls] is [Diggin'|http://doc.weblogs.com/2001/11/09#digginDurand] [Andre Durand]
[via|http://jim.roepcke.com/2001/10/31#item3142] [Jim Roepcke] : [Seth Dillingham] : [Knowledge Management, Meta Data, and the Organization|http://www.truerwords.net/1241]
Try this : add [mama_pendse] to your Yahoo Messenger and send message 'help'
[Chandramouli Mahadevan] is in Germany. Welcome back !
I hurt myself yesterday while playing badminton... Nothing Serious... But I am thinking about [Relative and Absolute Happiness] and about people who are handicapped
[Two unpublished letters|http://www.vedantaofboston.org/Vivekananda/newSVLetters.asp] of [Swami Vivekananda]
[Obstacles to Happiness]
In [You already know what to do] : ...In the early nineteenth century, when writer [Samuel Taylor Coleridge] awoke with the "distinct recollection of the whole" of "Kubla Khan", he demonstrated the effectiveness of intuition... When business man [Jagdish Parikh] speaks of creating a "synthesis...beyond selfishness and selflessness, beyond collectiveness and competitiveness, to a cooperativeness based on selfness," he is calling on intuition...
Relative and Absolute Happiness
[Articles] > Relative and Absolute Happiness
([source|http://www.frankcolon.com/happiness.html])
-- Searching for absolute happiness... attend course at [Self Levitation Centre] --
You will never find happiness if you don't challenge your weakness and change yourself from within.
True happiness is to be found within, in the state of our hearts. It does not exist on the far side of some distant mountains. It is within you, yourself. However, as much you try, you can never run away from yourself. And if you are weak, suffering will follow you wherever you go. You will never find happiness if you don©ˆt challenge your weakness and change yourself from within. Happiness is to be found in the dynamism and energy of your own life as you struggle to overcome one obstacle after another. This is why I believe that a person who is active and free from fear is truly happy.
The challenges we face in life can be compared to a tall mountain, rising before a mountain climber. For someone who has not trained properly, whose muscles and reflexes are weak and slow, every inch of the climb will be filled with terror and pain.
The exact same climb, however, will be a thrilling journey for one who is prepared, whose legs and arms have been strengthened by constant training. With each step forward and up, beautiful new views will come into sight.
My teacher used to talk about two kinds of happiness-©˜ relative and absolute©˜ happiness. Relative happiness is happiness that depends on things outside ourselves: friends, and family, surroundings, the size of our home or family income. This is what we feel when a desire is fulfilled, or something we have longed for is obtained. While the happiness such things bring us is certainly real, the fact is that none of this lasts for ever. Things change. People change. This kind of happiness shatters easily when external conditions alter.
Relative happiness is also based on comparison with others. We may feel this kind of happiness at having a newer or bigger home than the neighbors. But that feeling turns to misery the moment they start making new additions to theirs!
Absolute happiness, on the other hand, is something we must find within. It means establishing a state of life in which we are never defeated by trials and where just being alive is a source of great joy. This persists no matter what we might be lacking, or what might happen around us. A deep sense of joy is something which can only exist in the innermost reaches of our life, and which cannot be destroyed by any external forces. It©ˆs eternal and inexhaustible.
The kind of sasfaction is to be found in consistent and repeated effort, so that we can say: ©¯Today, again, I did my very best. Today, again, I have no regrets. Today, again, I won.©˜ The accumulated result of such efforts is a life of great victory.
What we should compare is not ourselves against others. We should compare who we are today against who we were yesterday, who we are today against who we will be tomorrow. While this may seem simple and obvious, true happiness is found in a life of constant advancement. And the same worries that could have made us miserable can actually be a source of growth when we approach them with courage and wisdom.
One friend whose dramatic life proved this was Natalia Saltz, who founded the first children©ˆs theater in Moscow. In the 1930©ˆs, she and her husband were marked by the Soviet Union©ˆs secret police. Even though they were guilty of no crime, her husband was arrested and executed and she was sent to a prison camp in the frozen depths of Siberia. After she recovered from the initial shock, she started looking at her situation, not with despair, but for opportunity.
She realized that many of her fellow prisoners had special skills and talents. She began organizing a ©¯university©˜, encouraging the prisoners to share their knowledge. ©¯You. You are a scientist. Teach us about science. You are an artist. Talk to us about art.©˜ In this way, the boredom and terror of the prison camp were transformed into the joy of learning and teaching. Eventually, she even made use of her own unique talents to organize a theater group.
She survived the five year prison sentence, and dedicated the rest of her long life to creating children©ˆs theater. When we met for the first time in Moscow in 1981, she was already in her 80©ˆs. She was as radiant and buoyant as a young girl. Her smile was the smile of someone who has triumphed over the hardships of life.
©¯Happiness©˜
Such a person lives every day with a broad and embracing spirit.
Such a person can savor life©ˆs depths while creating meaning and value that will last for eternity.
"It is a fact that everyone in the world is seeking happiness, often unconsciously (whatever their concept of it is) - some may deny it, citing other pursuits instead, but no-one actively pursues misery, except in the mistaken belief that it is happiness. That the pursuit of this ideal is often unrecognised by those seeking it, must be accepted by us - it is nevertheless a fact - and happiness is given many names, satisfaction, excitement, thrill, good times etc. Its pursuit can take on the guise of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual pursuit, greed, lust for power, high ambition, steady employment, a family, good exam results etc."
The University of Hard Knocks
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"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his
God, and he shall be my son"--Revelation 21:7.
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
the United States and have listened to "The University of Hard
institutes, club gatherings, conventions and before various other
shake the hand of every person who has sat in my audiences. And I
lectures into book form, "Big Business" and "Pockets and Paradises"
requires effort--Prodigals must be bumped--The fly and the sticky
fly-paper--"Removed" and "knocked out"
us--Our sorrows and disappointments--How the piano was made--How
never down and out
ones shake up and the little ones shake down--The barrel of life
and bad luck--The girl who went up--The man who went down--The
fatal rattle--We must get ready to get--Testimonials and press
first step at hand--All can be greatest--Where to find great
children--The story of "Gussie" and "Bill Whackem"--Schools and
Helping the turkeys killed them--the happiness of work we love--
nothing--The fiddle and the tuning--How we know things--Trimmed at
experience--Theory and practice--Tuning the strings of life
keeps on going south and growing greater--We generally start well,
LADIES and Gentlemen:
wagon--how much it squeaks and wheezes and rattles and wabbles. Do
not pay much attention to the wrappings and strings. Get inside to
Every audience has a different temperature, and that makes a
Some warm September day I would pull the plug from the barrel and
squirt. It would come out slowly and reluctantly, so that I would
have to wait a long while to get a little sorghum. And on some real
Here is a great mass of words and sentences and pictures to express
growing up from the Finite to the Infinite, and that it is done by
our own personal overcoming, and that we never finish it.
and struggle up to a higher vision.
promote mental digestion like more bulk in the way of pictures and
hypocrisy and human frailty are the Outside that must be chipped
have just gotten, then that bump must come back and bump us again.
"naturally bright" and have to be pulverized.
There are two kinds of people--wise people and fools. The fools are
The university colors are black and blue.
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
And thus our life, exempt from public haunt,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything."
no running brooks. They'd get wet. And that sermons in stones! They
get preachers to preach sermons, and they build houses out of
preaching and every running brook the unfolding of a book.
Perhaps you are "naturally bright" and feel sorry for Shakespeare.
I was not interested when father and mother told me these things.
young, and now two and two made seven, because we lived so much faster.
and two always makes four, and "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall
poultices by and by when the bumps come.
As we get bumped and battered on life's pathway, we discover we get
two kinds of bumps--bumps that we need and bumps that we do not
Bumps that we bump into and bumps that bump into us.
two colleges--The College of Needless Knocks and The College of
was three years old and ready to graduate.
That day they had the little joy and sunshine of the family in his
And that day when I wanted the coffee-pot--I did want it. Nobody
this petticoat tyranny three years, and it is time to stop it!
got it unanimously. I know when I got it and I also know where I
applebutter on me--and coal oil and white-of-an-egg and starch and
over and rub it on the little joy and sunshine of the family, who
You see, my mother's way was to tell me and then let me do as I
pleased. She told me not to get the coffee-pot and then let me get
would go on with her knitting and let me do as I pleased.
Mother would say, "Don't fall in the well." I could go and jump in
the well after that and she would not look at me. I do not argue
the most kind and effective way to rear one stubborn boy I know of.
The neighbors and the ladies' aid society often said my mother was
knew how stubborn and self-willed I was. It came from father's
notice upon me, and then let me go ahead and get my coffee-pot.
That was the quickest and kindest way to teach me.
I learned very quickly that if I did not hear mother, and heed, a
my mother that a coffee-pot of some kind did not spill upon me, and I
And thru the bumps we learn that The College of Needless Knocks
wiser and happier." The tongues in the trees, the books in the
running brooks and the sermons in the stones all repeat it.
easier and more attractive. It is so easy to go downward. We slide
And going down the wrong path, we get bumped harder and harder
It wasn't my fault--all my bumps and coffee-pots! I was just
unlucky and it had to be.
to learn the lesson of the bump and find the right path, so that
familiar look," and dodge it.
"pussyfooted" it along so carefully. He bumped his hand against a
seat. Then he did what every blind man does, he lifted his hand
higher and didn't bump any more seats.
his lesson with one bump, and you have to go bumping into the same
things day after day and wonder why you have so much `bad luck'!"
And so with our own lives. Real living is conscious effort to go
Look over your community. Note the handful of brave, faithful,
unselfish souls who are carrying the community burdens and pushing
upward. Note the multitude making little or no effort, and even
drift and be amused and follow false gods that promise something
of goodness into the mystery of the great unknown world beyond and
in that unknown realm we fondly imagine is happiness.
seeking happiness where nobody ever found happiness. Their days
"I can do wrong and not get bumped. I have no feelings upon the
How the old devil works day and night to keep people amused and
and the dazzle going so they will not see they are bumping
where your poor dear father was lost." And Johnny Fly remembers for
place to skate. Just see how close I can fly over it and not get
flies are naturally bright and have so many more advantages. You
You see Johnny fly back and forth and have the time of his
naturally bright young life. Afterwhile, tho, he stubs his toe and
lands in the stickiness. "Well, well, how nice this is on the feet,
so soft and soothing!"
First he puts one foot down and pulls it out. That is a lot of fun.
puts three down and puts down a few more trying to pull them out.
doesn't pull loose. He feels tired and he sits down in the sticky
another drink and sing, "We won't go home till morning."
You were doing right--doing just the best you knew how--and yet
some blow came crushing upon you and gave you cruel pain.
and valuable.
have to have the Needful Knocks to become useful. And so does
most of these knocks--who have faced the great crises of life and
see you. You are so shiny, beautiful, valuable and full of music,
You got your lessons, combed your hair, went to Sunday school and
man into the woods with an ax, and he looked for the best trees
And how unjust it was! He kept on hitting you. "The operation was
It is a very sad story. They took you all bumped and bleeding to
the sawmill and they bumped and ripped you more. They cut you in
pieces and hammered you day by day.
bumped here. All the beauty, harmony and value were bumped into you.
Duluth, Minnesota, and came to a hole in the ground. It was a big
of this same red mud. It had been moved over the Great Lakes and
limestone, charcoal and other textbooks. Then they corked it up and
Then they pulled the plug out of the bottom of the college and held
promotion exercises. The red mud squirted out into the sand. It was
where it was again roasted, and now it came out a sophomore--steel,
roasted yet again and rolled thin into a junior. Some of that went
on up and up, at every step getting more pounding and roasting and
they pound me and break my heart? I have been good and faithful. O,
it in glass cases. Many people admired it and said, "Isn't that
the price had gone up into thousands of dollars.
My friends, you and I are the raw material, the green trees, the
a larger life. The diamond and the chunk of soft coal are exactly the
Illinois, a crippled woman was wheeled into the tent and brought
that I know sitting in this chair. I have learned to be patient and
kind and loving and brave."
cripple into the tent. She was tall and stately. She was
daughter and nobody interested in me? Why is my daughter happy and
why am I not happy? My daughter is always happy and she hasn't a
I discover when I am unhappy and selfish and people don't use me
precious lessons of patience, sympathy, love, faith and courage.
The world needs them more than libraries and foundations.
lean years we put it in our hearts. Material and spiritual
prosperity do not often travel hand-in-hand. When we become
this Babylon that I have builded?" And about that time there comes
some handwriting on the wall and a bump to save us.
You are down and out." Do not believe that you are down and out,
you are down and out. He wants you to sympathize with yourself. You
are never down and out!
other public disaster brings sympathy, bravery, brotherhood and
sacrifice and purged of their dross.
NOW as we learn the lessons of the Needless and the Needful Knocks,
we get wisdom, understanding, happiness, strength, success and
was one barrel full of big, red, fat apples. I rushed over and got
way, I looked in the sack and discovered there was not a big, red,
big, red, fat apples on the top, and the groceryman, not desiring
and windfalls I ever saw in one sack. The things I said about the
the groceryman ever put the big apples on top and the little
Man of sorrows, you have been slandered. It never occurred to me
big ones on top and the little ones down underneath. He does not
pushes the big ones up and the little ones down.
and smooth that things do not shake on the road to town. But back
was the poetry of motion! The wagon "hit the high spots." And as I
of my pocket and the little ones would rattle down to the bottom.
that the big ones shake up and the little ones shake down. Put some
big ones and some little things of about the same density in a box
or other container and shake them. You will see the larger things
shake upward and the smaller shake downward. You will see every
shakes a little higher, and a little smaller one a little lower.
Mix them up again and shake. Watch them all shake back as they were
before, the largest on top and the smallest at the bottom.
half-filled with small white beans and a few walnuts.
Let us try that right on the platform. Here is a glass jar and
beans and some walnuts. You will pardon me for bringing such a
simple and crude apparatus before you in a lecture, but I ask your
forget it, and I do not want these young people to live thirty
and the big walnuts shake up. Not one bean asks, "Which way do I
automatically goes the right way. The little ones go down and the
Note that I mix them all up and then shake. Note that they arrange
and low down. I never had no chance like them big ones up there.
See, the can shakes. Back to the bottom shakes the little bean. And
I hear him say, "King's ex! I slipped. Try that again and I'll
is too small to stay up. He cannot stand prosperity.
Bean!" And you see I put them down.
But I shake the can, and the big ones go right back to the top with
Equality of position demands quality of size. Let the little one
grow bigger and he will shake up. Let the big one grow smaller and
way to the market place of the future. It is a corduroy road and
speckled apples, green apples, and dried apples. A bad boy on the
front row shouted the other night, "And rotten apples!"
The same law that shakes the little ones down and the big ones up
barrel of life. It is sending small people down and great people
And do you not see that we are very foolish when we want to be
ready for places before we can get them and keep them.
is something like a train and if we do not get to the depot in time
our train of destiny will run off and leave us, and we will have no
Kings and Queens of Destiny
you and I are not helpless victims of blind fate. We are not
creatures of chance. We have it in our hands to decide our destiny
And when we have reached the place our size determines, we stay
we wish to go down, we must grow smaller and we shall shake down.
If we wish to go up, we must grow greater, and we shall shake up.
the places you fit. And when you are in your places--in stores,
If you want a greater place, you simply grow greater and they
and you shake up to a greater place.
office and say, "Isn't it about time I was getting a raise?" I
"Good Luck" and "Bad Luck"
people shake up and the unlucky people shake down. That is, the
lucky people grow great and the unlucky people shrivel and rattle.
shook down and the big ones shook up. The bump that was bad luck to
both good luck and bad luck.
girl from the country. It was her first office experience, and she
The other girls poked fun at her and played jokes upon her because
And she never "got done." When she had finished her work, the work
to be done, and she would go right on working, contrary to the
The other day in a paper-mill I was standing beside a long machine
I asked him about another process, and he replied, "I don't know
neither. I don't work in there." And he did not betray the least
gone up and down. You may have noticed two brothers start with the
same chance, and presently notice that one is going up and the
popular favor, and get our names in the blue-book at the start.
Some of us begin down in the shade on the bottom branches, and we
the top-branchers, and we say, "O, if I only had his chance! If I
And afterwhile we are all in the barrel of life, shaken and bumped
Now life is mainly routine. You and I and everybody must go on
doing pretty much the same things over and over. Every day we
be learning new things and discovering new joys in our daily
our eyes glued to precedents--just turning round and round in our places
and not growing any, pretty soon we become mere machines. We wear
smaller. The joy and juice go out of our lives. We shrivel and rattle.
The success, joy and glory of life are in learning, growing, going
forward and upward. That is the only way to hold our place.
We only live as we grow and learn. When anybody stays in the same
place year after year and fills it, he does not rattle.
journals labeled "Finishing Schools," and "A Place to Finish Your
The greater and wiser the man, the more anxious he is to be told.
time pointing backward with pride and talking about "in my day!"
For it is mostly rattle. The live one's "my day" is today and
look forward to greater and better things tomorrow.
and get it. If we do not have pull enough, get some more pull. Get
joke, for we would rattle. And when we have grown as great as the
hands." I heard a Chicago superintendent say to his foreman, "Give
him a testimonial and fire him!"
Now testimonials and press-notices very often serve useful ends. In
Most testimonials and press-notices are frank flatteries. They
magnify the good points and say little as possible about the bad
ones. I look back over my lyceum life and see that I hindered my
me. Whenever I heard an adverse criticism, I would go and read a
I am the greatest ever, and should he return, no hall would be able
And my vanity bump would again rise.
When you get to the place where you can stand aside and "see
yourself go by"--when you can keep still and see every fibre of you
and your work mercilessly dissected, shake hands with yourself and
in the land. They spring up, fail, wail, disappear, only to be
rattle back, and "the last estate of that man is worse than the
derrick. We must feed the hungry and clothe the naked, but that is
wants you to license him and professionalize him as a beggar.
When Peter and John went up to the temple they found the lame
thru the gate and see him. He would say, "Help me!" "Poor man,"
they would reply, "you are in a bad fix. Here is help," and they
And so every day that beggar got to be more of a beggar. The public
"helped" him to be poorer in spirit, more helpless and a more
"helping" to the Jerusalem Beggars' Union and carried his card.
But Peter really helped him. "Silver and gold have I none; but such
up and walk."
I used to work on the "section" and get a dollar and fifteen cents
to see how little I could do and look like I was working. I was the
pumping a handcar. I was naturally bright. I used to say "If the
rich wasn't getting richer and the poor poorer, I'd be president of a
the hand-car job is just as honorable as the bank job, but as I was
lands upon the throne.
down, so the little ones will be on the top and the big ones will
the big ones would shake right up to it and the little ones would
do not get the coffee-pot until we are ready to handle it.
Today you and I have things we couldn't have yesterday. We just
naturally today, and we see it is because we have grown ready for
them, and the barrel has shaken us up to them.
Today you and I want things beyond our reach. O, how we want them!
Do you not see that "cruel fate" is our own smallness and
today all we can stand today. More would wreck us. More would start
And this blessed old barrel of life is just waiting and anxious to
We go up from unhappiness to happiness.
We go up from ignorance to understanding.
sacrifice, struggle and overcoming. We push out our own skyline. We
rise above our own obstacles. We learn to see, hear, hold and
understand.
We may become very great, very educated, rise very high, and yet
great lands, great titles, great applause, great fame, and
the inside, and wails, "All is vanity. I find no pleasure in them.
and "Forging to the Front." Too often they are the sordid story of
and cornering all the swill!
the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom."
The Master looked with love and pity upon their unpreparedness.
of greatness that can ever stand: "Whosoever will be great among
you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among
inside--developing ability to minister and to serve.
We cannot buy a great arm. Our arm must become a great servant, and
and thus it becomes great.
The First Step at Hand
Everybody's privilege and duty is to become great. And the joy of
it is that the first step is always nearest at hand. We do not have
hundredth step or the thousandth step now. We want to make some
spectacular stride of a thousand steps at one leap. That is why we
workshop or our office and take the first step, solve the problem
nearest at hand. We must make our old work luminous with a new
devotion. We must battle up over every inch. And as fast as we
solve and dissolve the difficulties and turn our burdens into
of earth are born; they rush in from the cold lands to the warm
upward currents. And so as our problems disappear and our life
admire what we have accomplished and "point with pride." The
world a new science who looked back over it and said, "I seem to
the treasury, and then to the rich men who had cast in much more.
widow had given all--had completely overcome her selfishness and
Becoming great is overcoming our selfishness and fear. He that
advancement of the kingdom of happiness on earth shall find it
great and glorified.
our might what our hands find to do. Quit worrying about what you
And as you are faithful over a few things you go up to be ruler
The world says some of us have golden gifts and some have copper
I do not know who fitted the boards into the floor I stand upon. I
do not know all the great people who may come and stand upon this
floor. But I do know that the one who made the floor--and the one
come and stand upon it, if each be doing his work with the same
love, faithfulness and capability.
We have to look farther than the "Who's Who" and Dun and Bradstreet
the community heart in the precious handful who believe that the
The great people of the community serve and sacrifice for a better
the schools, the lyceum and chautauqua, and all the other movements
the tickets and had done all the managing. He was superintendent of
bread-and-butter job.
strut and pose in the show places. Few of them are "prominent
Chicago on Sundays to thousands. He writes books and runs a college
and you read it in almost every committee doing good things in
think that a vacation means going off somewhere and stretching out
preacher went from one chautauqua town to another, and took his
vacation going up and down the streets. He dug into the local
history of each place, and before dinner he knew more about the
the humdrum travel map into a wonderland. He scolded lazy towns and
say, "I have no chance." "You come to Chicago and I'll give you a
once ask the price of land, nor where there was a good investment
hasn't strength enough left to lecture and do his own work."
But he that saveth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his
life in loving service finds it returning to him great and
great--makes his preaching, his college and his books great.
This Chicago man gives his life into the service of humanity, and
things he does. Let him stop and "take care of himself," and his
If he had begun life by "taking care of himself" and "looking out
and writing it all down in the contract, most likely Dr. Frank W.
Gunsaulus often says, "You are planning and saving and telling
yourself that afterwhile you are going to give great things and do
thousands afterwhile. You need to give it now, and the world needs
strength was not in the size of their armies and in the vastness
of their population and wealth, but in the strength and ideals
As long as the nation was young and growing--as long as the people were
struggling and overcoming--that nation was strong. It was "prepared."
and surrendered to ease and indulgence, they became fat, stall-fed weaklings.
Many homes and communities have reached it.
All over America are fathers and mothers who have struggled and
have become strong men and women thru their struggles, who are
strong and "prepared"--thru struggle and service and overcoming.
grateful that he was jolted from his life-preserver and cruelly
They think they can buy an education--buy wisdom, strength and
understanding, and give it to them C. O. D! They seem to think they
will buy any brand they see--buy the home brand of education, or
else send off to New York or Paris or to "Sears Roebuck," and get
Father and mother cannot buy their children education. All they can
do is to buy them some tools, perhaps, and open the gate and say,
A father and mother might as well say, "We will buy our children
the strength we have earned in our arms and the wisdom we have
well expect Moses to give them his spiritual understanding acquired
great, dirty mill and a lot of little dirty houses around the mill.
The hands lived in the little dirty houses and worked six days of
nothing. He had become rich and honored. Every man in the mill
He began to buy it. He began to polish and sandpaper Gussie from
the minute the child could sit up in the cradle and notice things.
He sent him to the astrologer, the phrenologer and all other
land. The fault was not with the university, not with Gussie, who
was bright and capable.
The fault was with the little old man, who was so wise and great
about everything else, and so foolish about his own boy. In the
Gussie had no chance to serve. Everything was handed to him on a
Chicago. Did you ever go over into Packingtown and see a steer
grand bump, said steer does not have to do another thing. His
education is all arranged for in advance and he merely rides thru
and receives it. There is a row of professors with their sleeves
rolled up who give him the degrees. So as Mr. T. Steer of Panhandle
done and the paint was dry. He was a thing of beauty.
Gussie and Bill Whackem Gussie came back home with his education in
the first time in its history. The hands marched down to the depot,
and when the young lord alighted, the factory band played, "See,
crape hanging on the office door. Men and women stood weeping in
fill so great a place. In two years and seven months the mill was
years and seven months by the boy who had all the "advantages."
as tho it never could open. But it did open, and when it opened it
got to looking up to him to start and run things.
It was Hon. William Whackem who put the wreckage together and made
the wheels go round, and finally got the hungry town back to work.
But now I see that Bill went up in spite of his handicaps. If he
The book and the college suffer at the hands of their friends. They
say to the book and the college, "Give us an education." They cannot
do that. You cannot get an education from the book and the college
The book and the college show you the way, give you instruction and
with these instruments and tools.
tools and no experience in using them. Bill was the man with the
poor, homemade, crude tools, but with the energy, vision and
For education is getting wisdom, understanding, strength,
greatness, physically, mentally and morally. I believe I know some
they have served and overcome and developed great lives with the
poor, crude tools at their command.
They realized how they have been handicapped by their poor mental tools.
That is why they say, "All my life I have been handicapped by lack of
machine from a few bits of junk. But send him to Westinghouse and
see how much more he will achieve with the same genius and with
school of service and write your education in the only book you
they put you upon the witness stand.
The story of Gussie and Bill Whackem is being written in every
community in tears, failure and heartache. It is peculiarly a
These fathers and mothers who toil and save, who get great farms,
fine homes and large bank accounts, so often think they can give
life and put them into them.
They do all this and the children rattle. They have had no chance
A man heard me telling the story of Gussie and Bill Whackem, and he
somebody does not take me aside and tell me a story just as sad
For years poor Harry Thaw was front-paged on the newspapers and
court and detention expenses was one of the greatest business
and command armies of men, but he seems to have been pitifully
It is the educated, the rich and the worldly wise who blunder most in
You boys and girls, God bless you! You live in good homes. Father
and mother love you and give you everything you need. You get to
thinking, "I won't have to turn my hand over. Papa and mamma will
take care of me, and when they are gone I'll inherit everything
No, you are unfixed. You are a candidate for trouble. You are going
to rattle. Father and mother can be great and you can be a peanut.
You must solve your own problems and carry your own loads to have
a strong mind and back. Anybody who does for you regularly what you
Father and mother can put money in your pocket, ideas in your head
and food in your stomach, but you cannot own it save as you digest
I have read somewhere about a man who found a cocoon and put it in
the envelope. It seemed in trouble and needed help. He opened the
envelope with a knife and set the struggling insect free. But out
and under-developed wings. He learned that helping the insect was
that envelope that was needed to reduce its body and develop its
somewhere. Just work that gets us three meals a day and a place to
of it and years following until our machine is worn out and on the
the sorghum mill. Round and round that horse went, seeing nothing,
his ears. Such work deadens and stupefies. The masses work about
right--such work is a necessary evil, and they make it such. They
But getting a vision of life, and working to grow upward to it,
that is the work that brings the joy and the greatness.
When we are growing and letting our faculties develop, we will love
One time I put some turkey eggs under the mother hen and waited day
by day for them to hatch. And sure enough, one day the eggs began
to crack and the little turkeys began to stick their heads out of
hand." So I picked the shells off. "Little turkeys, you will never
advantages. Ordinary turkeys do not get shelled by hand."
you to know the joy of overcoming and having the angels come and
Happiness in Our Work
Children, I am pleading with you to find happiness. All the world
is seeking happiness, but so many are seeking it by rattling down
The happiness is in going up--in developing a greater arm, a
Happiness is the joy of overcoming. It is the delight of an
expanding consciousness. It is the cry of the eagle mounting
We find happiness in our work, not outside of our work. If we
cannot find happiness in our work, we have the wrong job. Find the
work that fits your talents, and stop watching the clock and
me into "taking care" of myself. And I got to taking such good care
of myself and watching for symptoms that I became a physical wreck.
found my job in my work, not away from it, and the work refreshed
me and rejuvenated me. Now I do two men's work, and have grown from
been a great surprise to my friends and a great disappointment to
the undertaker. I am an editor in the daytime and a lecturer at
I edit all day and take a vacation lecturing at night. I lecture
days--and then take a vacation by editing and writing. Thus every
day is jam full of play and vacation and good times. The year is
one round of joy, and I ought to pay people for the privilege of
speaking and writing to them instead of them paying me!
terrible burden and would speedily collapse.
think and grunt and worry about my body. And like Paul I am happy
to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord." Thus this
old body behaves just beautifully and wags along like the tail
work into play and duty into privilege.
The world is trying to find happiness in being amused. The world is
amusement-mad. Vacations, Coca Cola and moviemania!
look over the newsstands and see a picture of the popular mind,
of mental frog-pond and moral slum our boys and girls wade thru!
And all just as hard to cure.
rattleboxes and "sugar-tits."
to the nation. The crowd that drifts and lives for amusement is the
crowd that finds itself back near the caboose, and as the train of
Do you ever get lonely in a city? How few men and women there. A
bright lights,--hopers, suckers and straphangers! Down the great
white way they go chasing amusement to find happiness. They must be
The Prodigal Son came to himself afterwhile and thought upon his
ways. Then he arose and went to his father's house. Whenever one
will arise and go to his father's house of wisdom. But there is no
hope for the person who will not stop and think. And the devil
works day and night shifts keeping the crowd moving on.
That is why the crowd is not furnishing the strong men and women.
We must have amusement and relaxation. Study your muscles. First
continually relaxing is degenerating. And the individual, the
contracting--without struggling and overcoming--is degenerating.
your real relaxation, vacation and amusement, are merely changing
place of great responsibility in a city and ask the one who fills
born in Poseyville, Indiana, and I came to this city forty years
ago and went to work at the bottom."
Give us steam heat and push-buttons. There is no virtue in a
struggle and service that makes for strength and greatness. And as
that young person comes to the city and shakes in the barrel among
"Hep" and "Pep" for the Home Town
It is the lure of the city--and the lure-lessness of the country.
telephones, centralized schools, automobiles and good roads, there
sunshine, air and freedom that the crowded cities cannot have.
Weston, West Virginia, "You say you have nearly two thousand insane
people in this institution and only a score of guards to keep them
from getting together, organizing, overpowering the few guards and
"Many people say that. But they don't understand. If these people
insane. No two of them can agree upon how to get together and how
up into little antagonistic social, business and even religious
factions and neutralize each other's efforts.
massing for the common good. And when the churches fight, the devil
stays neutral and furnishes the munitions for both sides.
So the home towns stagnate and the young people with visions go
and united and inviting.
is the worst kind of soil impoverishment--all going out and nothing
The slogan today should be, For God and Home and the Home Town!
He encouraged his students to be self-supporting, and most of them
were working their way thru school. He made the school calendar and
He pitted class against class. He organized great literary and
literary societies vied with each other in their programs and in
of men and women of uniformly greater achievement.
schools offering encouragement and facilities for young people to
work their way thru and to act upon their own initiative.
The old "deestrick" school is passing, and with it the small
academies and colleges, each with its handful of students around a
From these schools came the makers and the preservers of the nation.
with a few great centralized state normal schools and state
equipment and maintenance. Today we scour the earth for specialists
to sit in the chairs and speak the last word in every department of
assimilation today as then. Knowing and growing demand the same
I am anxiously awaiting the results. I am hoping that the boys and
it stimulated and unfettered. I am anxious that they be not
equipment demanded to serve the present age. But I am more anxious
from life, not from laboratories, and we have life more abundantly
A school is vastly more than machinery, methods, microscopes and millions.
endowment, when the fact is that its struggle for existence and the
spirit of its teachers are its greatest endowment. And sometimes
Can we keep men before millions, and keep our ideals untainted by
You and I are very much interested in the answer.
The Fiddle and the Tuning
I have had the feeling ever since that you and I come into this
world like the fiddle comes from the factory. We have a body and a
primary schools and up thru the grammar grades, and get the first
school and go fiddling thru life on this one string!
We must show these little fiddles they must go back into school and
go up thru all the departments and institutions necessary to give
After all this there comes the commencement, and the violin comes
forth with the E, A, D and G strings all in place. Educated now?
Why is a violin? To wear strings? Gussie got that far and gave a
and college can do is to give the strings--the tools. After that
pegs are turned and the strings are put in tune. The music is the
Reading and Knowing
continents of Truth. That is the true happiness of
life--discovering Truth. We read things in a book and have a hazy
idea of them. We hear the preacher utter truths and we say with
over and over and we are not excited. Truth never excites--it is
crystallizes into a flashing jewel to delight and enrich our
There is such a difference between reading a thing and knowing a
thing. We could read a thousand descriptions of the sun and not
I used to stand in the row of blessed little rascals in the
"deestrick" school and read from McGuffey's celebrated literature,
hands upon hot stoves and coffee-pots, and had to get many kinds of
Then I had to go around showing the blisters, boring my friends and
farm at ten dollars a month and "washed, mended and found." You see
me here on this platform in my graceful and cultured manner, and
hand many a time. You might not think that I had ever driven a yoke
of oxen and had said the words. But I have!
were three little shells in a row, and there was a little pea under
under the end shell and bet me money it was under the end shell.
And he seemed like a real nice old gentleman, and maybe he had a
I went over to the other side of the fairgrounds and sat down. That
mermaid now or get into the grandstand.
I said the thing every fool does say when he gets bumped and fails
and stood up in his buggy. "Let the prominent citizens gather
diseases humanity is heir to. Now just to introduce and advertise,
wrapping a ten-dollar bill around one cake and throwing it into the
And right on top of the pile was the cake with the ten wrapped
work) in his hands and grab that bill cake. But the bill
horse and also disappeared. I never knew where he went.
I grew older and people began to notice that I was naturally bright
and therefore good picking. They began to let me in on the ground
seemed like I would always slide on thru and land in the cellar.
wanted to steal. And whenever I would get unduly inflated I would
open that drawer and "view the remains."
doubled. They still exist on the blueprint and the Oklahoma
between an oil proposition and an oil well! The learning has been
I had also a bale of mining stock. I had stock in gold mines and
my gold and silver mine stock, I often noticed that it was printed
they wanted it to harmonize with me! And I would realize I had so
melon! I have heard that all my life and never got a piece of the rind.
retired ministers would come periodically and sell me stock in some
buy because I knew the minister was honest and believed in it. He
dollar and got back a dollar or two of bonds and a dollar or two of
stock. That was doubling and trebling my money over night. An old
will pay you five or six per cent. and get it?"
never met. His name was Thomas A. Cleage, and he was in the Rialto
a prominent citizen and have a large influence in your community.
You are a natural leader and everybody looks up to you."
in with us in the inner circle and get a thousand per cent.
St. Louis to Tom Cleage's bucket-shop and pay him eleven hundred
I think it must have been a pool, for I know I fell in and got
feel hard toward goldbrick men and "blue sky" venders. I sometimes
cannot tell him anything, because he is naturally bright and knows
get juicy when you know it. Today when I open a newspaper and see
fortune right up on this platform and put it down there on the
selected to receive a thousand per cent. dividends," it means you
look like the biggest sucker on the local landscape.
The other night in a little town of perhaps a thousand, a banker
some of the above experiences. "The audience laughed with you and
I wish you could see the thousands of hard-earned dollars that go
hundred dollars to tell you this one thing, and you get it for a
The owning is in the understanding of values.
have earned and stored in your life, not merely in your pocket,
I learn, and how much there is to learn. It will take an eternity!
that life is one infinite succession of commencements and
decorated and the joy of youth is everywhere. There is a row of
geraniums along the front of the stage and a big oleander on the
Number One comes forth and begins:
sweeps downward and the fingers remain up in the air. So by all
Applause, especially from relatives.
2 stands at the same leadpencil mark on the floor, resplendent in
"We (hands at half-mast and separating) are rowing (business of
propelling aerial boat with two fingers of each hand, head
inclined). We are not drifting (hands slide downward)."
You get the most beautiful and sublime truths from Emerson's
them. It is a grand thing to say, "Beyond the Alps lieth Italy,"
up over Alps of difficulty and seeing the Italy of promise and
victory beyond. It is fine to say, "We are rowing and not
was "short-circuited." The "brethren" waited upon me and told me I had
They gave me six weeks in which to load the gospel gun and get
the poet Shakespeare has so beautifully said," and then I took a
chunk of Shakespeare and nailed it on page five of my sermon. "List
worked that sermon up into the most beautiful splurges and spasms.
I bedecked it with metaphors and semaphores. I filled it with
climaxes, both wet and dry. I had a fine wet climax on page
cry on the lefthand side of the page.
I committed it all to memory, and then went to a lady who taught
express-wagon and got no load for it. So it rattled. I got a
a mirror for six weeks, day by day, and said the sermon to the
and that sermon would not have hesitated.
Then came the grand day. The boy wonder stood forth and before his
large and enthusiastic concourse delivered that maiden sermon more
grandly than ever to a mirror. Every gesture went off the bat
last man out of the church--and I hurried. But they beat me
"Peeling Potatoes," and you are most likely to hear the applause
Out of every thousand books published, perhaps nine hundred of them
in them and they may even be better written, yet they lack the
surging and pulsating from the book of his experience.
agriculturist. We must take a hoe and go out and agricult. That is
And the poet's heart was wrung."
So many young people think because they have a good voice and they have
cultivated it, they are singers. All this cultivation and irritation
and irrigation and gargling of the throat are merely symptoms of
beautiful voice, and she has been away to "Ber-leen" to have it
sweetest little trills and tendrils, with the smile exactly like
her teacher had taught her. Jessie exhibited all the machinery and
tremendous feeling it demands. The audience went wild. It was a
case of Gussie and Bill Whackem.
All this was gall and wormwood to Jessie. "Child," I said to her,
all right and you have a better voice than that woman, but you
much about the first rose of summer. And really, I hope you'll
never know the ache and disappointment you must know before you can
one of the widely known song-writers of this land. As I had the
Isn't it great to have friends and a fine home and money?" she
meal a day and didn't know where the next meal was coming from. I
resources. I have had years of struggle. I have been sick and
discouraged and down and out. It was in my little back-room, the
heart and what the struggles were teaching me. No one is more
surprised and grateful that the world seems to love my songs and
"Just a Wearyin' for You," "His Lullaby" and many more of those
simple little songs so full of the pathos and philosophy of life
that they tug at your heart and moisten your eyes.
Anybody could write those songs--just a few simple words and notes.
No. Books of theory and harmony and expression only teach us how to
write the words and where to place the notes. These are not the
had never struggled with discouragement, sickness, poverty and
popular heart. And while we have a continual inundation of popular
songs that are trashy and voice the tawdriest human impulses, yet
Theory and Practice
My friends, I am not arguing that you and I must drink the dregs of
looking upward, and half the time their feet are in the flower-beds
There are a thousand who can tell you what is the matter with
I used to have respect amounting to reverence for great readers and
anything you could think of was discussed, and perhaps the page. He
He was a remarkable man--a great reader and with a memory that
retained it all. That man could recite chapters and volumes.
practical life. He seemed to be unable to think and reason for
and the gasoline in the fire. He seemed never to have digested any
the Book of Human Experience the "sermons in stones" and the "books
understandingly from it.
of Human Experience. Each has a different fight to make and a
ones. You have cried yourselves to sleep, some of you, and walked
ago, and the wound has not healed. You think it never will heal.
And you young people here with lives like June mornings, are not
much interested in this lecture. You are polite and attentive
because this is a polite and attentive neighborhood. But down in
man talking about? I haven't had these things and I'm not going to
And you are going to learn the wonderful lesson thru the years, the
bumps and the tears, that all these things somehow are necessary to
These bumps and hard knocks do not break the fiddle--they turn the pegs.
These bumps and tragedies and Waterloos draw the strings of the
soul tighter and tighter, nearer and nearer to God's great concert
pitch, where the discords fade from our lives and where the music
divine and harmonies celestial come from the same old strings that
had been sending forth the noise and discord.
Thus we know that our education is progressing, as the evil and
unworthy go out of our lives and as peace, harmony, happiness, love
and understanding come into our lives.
backward--and weep and rejoice.
evident that I could have handled a pretty good-sized spoon. But
several miles into the country those old reaper days and gathered
head and said, "You are the best boy to work, I ever saw." Then the
cheerful old miser put a nickel in my blistered hand. That nickel
looked bigger than any money I have since handled.
handle it, hence the tale that follows.
I was sixteen years old and a school teacher. Sweet sixteen--which
There is hope for green things. I was so tall and awkward then--I
My second, Make, em recite. That is, fill 'em up and then empty 'em.
My third and most important rule was, Get your money!
I walked thirteen miles a day, six and a half miles each way, most of
With the small fry I used a small paddle to win their confidence and
arouse their enthusiasm for an education. With the pupils larger and
more muscular than their teacher I used love and moral suasion.
great baskets of provender and we had a feast. We covered the
school desks with boards, and then covered the boards with piles of
fried chicken, doughnuts and forty kinds of pie.
shut my eyes and see it yet. I can see my pupils coming forward to
speak their "pieces." I hardly knew them and they hardly knew me,
back of the ears! And into them! So many of them wore collars that
and he had a lingering end as we executed him. I can see "The boy
saying over and over until it would say itself. But somehow when I
got up before that "last day of school" audience and opened my
And my pupils wept as their dear teacher said farewell. Parents
was going home with head high and aircastles even higher. But I
never got home with the money. Talk about the fool and his money
and you get very personal.
For on the way home I met Deacon K, and he borrowed it all. Deacon K
was "such a good man" and a "pillar of the church." I used to wonder,
I was paid thousands in experience for that first schoolteaching,
but I paid all the money I got from it--two hundred and forty
does to intelligently handle it afterwards. Incidentally I learned
Their schoolmates and playmates are apt to be down there in the
front rows with their families, and maybe all the old scores have
And he has gotten his lecture out of that home town. The heroes and
is why some lecturers and authors are not so popular in the home
I went back to the same hall to speak, and stood upon the same platform
when in impassioned and well modulated tones I had exclaimed,
"Greece is gone and Rome is no more, but fe-e-e-e-ear not,
Then I went back to the little hotel and sat up alone in my room
A class of brilliant and gifted young people went out to take
were going to be presidents and senators and authors and
authoresses and scientists and scientist-esses and geniuses and
genius-esses and things like that.
no brilliant career in view. He was dull and seemed to lack
appointed for that purpose took Jim back of the schoolhouse and
on the stage back of the oleander commencement night.
home telephone exchange, and had become absolutely indispensable to
goddess at the general delivery window and superintendent of the
going to Confess was raising the best corn in the county, and his
cards, and the watchdog who guards the door would tell them, "Cut
alumni meeting. They hung it on the wall near where the oleander
Hours pass, and still as I sat in that hotel room I was lost in
that school picture and the twenty-one years. There were fifty-four
the barrel, and now as I called the roll on them, most of them that
I expected to go up had shaken down and some that I expected to
Congress and one had gone to the penitentiary. Some had gone to
brilliant success and some had gone down to sad failure. Some had
found happiness and some had found unhappiness. It seemed as tho
it, or where Mammon had entered to pull it down. And I saw better
The boy who traded knives with me and beat me--how I used to envy
on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one
smart and bright.
combed, and said, "If you please," used to hurt me. He was the
He'll be President of the United States some day, and you'll be in
who had the hustle and the energy, who occasionally needed
bumping--and who got it--who really grew.
spotlight, primping and flirting. She outshone all the rest. But it
seemed like she was all out-shine and no in-shine. She mistook
these years to support a home and care for her family. She had kept
her grace and sweetness thru it all, and the influence of her
a loving father, plenty of money, opportunity and a great career
awaiting him. And he was bright and lovable and talented.
Everybody said Frank would make his mark in the world and make
never know how their thoughtless jeers and jokes wounded the
sensitive, shabby boy who swept the floors, built the fires and
carried in the coal. After commencement my career seemed to end and
the careers of Frank and the rest of them seemed to begin. They
were going off to college and going to do so many wonderful things.
roll up my sleeves and go to work in the "devil's corner" to earn
Many a time as I plugged at the "case" I would think of Frank and wonder
why some people had all the good things and I had all the hard things.
at a grave and read on the headstone, "Frank."
a fortune, broke his father's heart, shocked the community, and
finally ended his wasted life with a bullet fired by his own hand.
disgrace. He is haled into court and tried for a crime he never
trial at the hands of this world. That is why the great Judge has
chain him to the bench and to the oar. There follow the days and
That seems to be your life and my life. In the kitchen or the
the oar and pulling under the sting of the lash of necessity. Life
look across the street and see somebody who lives a happier life.
they, too, pull on the oar and feel the lash. Most likely they are
looking back at us and envying us. For while we envy others, others
But look at the chariot race in Antioch. See the thousands in the
circus. See Messala, the haughty Roman, and see! Ben Hur from the
dash these twin thunderbolts. The thousands hold their breath. "Who
stronger forearms. They are bands of steel that swell in the
Sooner or later you and I are to learn that Providence makes no
on--when we win the victory, strike the deciding blow, stand while
those around us fall--and it is won with the forearms earned in the
and for the circumstances that compelled it.
It keeps wabbling around, never giving up and quitting, and it gets
relative to die and bequeath him some water. That is a beautiful
thought! He has water enough to start south, and he does that.
south. He picks up a little stream and he has some more water. He
goes on south. He picks up another stream and grows some more. Day
important than the goal. Find the way your life should go, and then
go and keep on going and you'll reach a thousand goals.
and we will find the resources all along the way. We will grow as
we flow. All of us can start! And then go on south!
every day in flowing and growing. The Mississippi is a success in
You and I sooner or later hear the call, "Go on south." If we
haven't heard it, let us keep our ear to the receiver and live a
1. He keeps on going on south and growing greater.
2. He overcomes his obstacles and develops his power.
Go On South and Grow Greater
is going on south and growing greater. You never meet him but what
The Mississippi gets to St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is a great
retire upon his laurels. He goes on south and grows greater. He
does not stop. He goes on south and grows greater.
Everywhere you meet him he is going on south and growing greater.
the Mississippi. If he should stop and stagnate, he would not be
they stop and stagnate, they die.
That is why I am making it the slogan of my life--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER! I hope I can make you remember that and say it over
schoolrooms, over the business houses and homes--GO ON SOUTH AND
GROW GREATER. For this is life, and there is no other. This is
education--and religion. And the only business of life.
You and I start well. We go on south a little ways, and then we
retire. Even young people as they start south and make some little
So many of those young goslings believe that. They quit and get
one victory. Success goes to the head and defeat goes to "de feet."
The one who keeps on going south defies custom and becomes unorthodox.
smattering and squeeze into the bottom position and never go on
south to efficiency and promotion. They wonder why their genius is
few shorthand characters and irritate a typewriter keyboard. They
capitalization and punctuation. Their eyes are on the clock, their
Strickland Gillilan, America's great poet-humorist, say, "Egotism
We say, "I've seen my best days." And the undertaker goes and
so far, and tomorrow is going to be better on south.
understand. Just beginning to know about life."
Birthdays and Headmarks
Yesterday I had a birthday. I looked in the glass and communed with
You children cheer up. Your black hair and auburn hair and the other
first reader hair will pass and you'll get promoted as you go on south.
have quit going on south and have gotten gray on the inside--or bald.
These same corporations send out Pinkertons and pay any price for
gray-headed men--gray on the outside and green on the inside. They
are the most valuable, for they have the vision and wisdom of many
years and the enthusiasm and "pep" and courage of youth.
years and years on earth and has perhaps gotten gray on the
outside, but has kept young and fresh on the inside. Put that
ticket-window or on the bench--or under the hod--and you find the
come to me and tell me how to improve--what to do and what not to
were not trying to improve them, and were lost in admiration of
watched them come and go, come and go. I have heard their fierce
invectives against the bureaus and ungrateful audiences that were
boots. He just hibernated and "chawed on."
Bernhardt, Davis and Edison
The spectacle of Sarah Bernhardt, past seventy, thrilling and
gripping audiences with the fire and brilliancy of youth, is
Senator Henry Gassaway Davis, West Virginia's Grand Old Man, at
ninety-two was working as hard and hopefully as any man of the
multitudes in his employ. He was an ardent Odd Fellow, and one day
the home was a row of old men inmates. The senator shook hands with
these men and one by one they rose from the bench to return his
the senator and said, "Senator, you'll have to excuse me from
"Senator, I'm old in body and old in spirit. I'm past sixty."
screeched and stuttered. You would not have it in your barn today
Thomas Alva Edison. He had gotten to St. Paul, and he went on
south. A million people would have stopped there and said, "I have
other day, and she wrote me that the great inventor showed her one
invention. "I made over seven thousand experiments and failed
"I know more than seven thousand ways now that won't work."
the face of seven thousand failures. Today he brings forth a
to this platform and ask him, "Have you succeeded?" he would say
what he has said to reporters and what he said to the young lady,
What a difference between "ed" and "ing"! The difference between
death and life. Are you "ed-ing" or "ing-ing"?
pitching horseshoes up the alley and talking about "ther winter of
orations on "The Age of the Young Man" and the Ostler idea that you
I would see his scandalized friends gather around him. "Moses! Moses!
what is this we hear? You going to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land?
And keep out of the night air. It is so hard on old folks."
can hardly keep up. Moses is eighty-five and busier and more
and makes all the arrangements for a gorgeous funeral next
does--it "waits" on something or other. And this committee goes up
stand in line and wait their turn. When they get up to Moses' desk,
man. You are eighty-five years old and full of honors. We are the
Moses is eighty-six and the committee 'phones over, "Moses, can you
attend next Thursday?" And Moses says, "No, boys, you'll just have
The committee waits. Moses is ninety and rushed more than ever.
He is doing ten men's work and his friends all say he is killing
Moses is ninety-five and burning the candle at both ends.
He is a hundred. And the committee dies!
Moses goes right on shouting, "Onward!" He is a hundred and ten. He
is a hundred and twenty. Even then I read, "His eye was not dim,
nor his natural force abated." He had not time to stop and abate.
us, Go on south to the greater things, and get so enthused and
Joshua and Caleb. They put the giants out of business.
and the dodo.
not time to look back and see how anybody uses him.
tribulations, and I'll be in that bright and happy land." What will
child and I'm not happy now. Them was the best days of my life
sorry for a child. Hurry up and go on south. It is better on south.
palmy days. And the palm!
I had advantages. I was born in a parsonage and was reared in the
nurture and admiration of the Lord. I am not just sure I quoted
I inherited was a Godly example and a large appetite. That was
I never sit down as "company" at a dinner and see some little
and mother would stretch it clear across the room and put on two
long table and view the "promised land." I would see her set on the
jelly. We had so much jelly--red jelly, and white jelly, and blue
ever saw. She would make a hollow in the top and fill it with
butter. I would see the butter melt and run down the sides, and I
And then Elder Berry would sit down at the table, at the end
"company" had to come and gobble it up. They would fill the table
and father would sit down in the last seat. There was no place for
and wait. There's no room for you at the table."
room and hear the big dinner. Did you ever hear a big dinner when
the neck! And I would hear them say, "Elder Berry, may we help you
And Elder Berry would take the neck!
He would often put his hand in benediction upon my head.
When all the chicken was gone and he had taken the neck! "My boy,
and today is the best day of all. Go on south!
more like mine like a piece of sandpaper. There are chapters of
happiness undreamed of in his philosophy.
A child can be full of happiness and only hold a pint. But
I think I hold a gallon now. And I see people in the audience who
Afterwhile this old world gets too small for us and we go on south
So we cannot grow old. Our life never stops. It goes on and on
Material things will grow old. This stage will grow old and stop.
This hall will grow old and stop. This house we live in will grow
old and stop. This flesh and blood house we live in will grow old
and stop. This lecture even will grow old--and stop! But you and I
will never grow old, for God cannot grow old. You and I will go on
today it is such a relief to look people in the face and say,
And I have to say that to many questions, "I do not know." I often
What a wonderful happiness to go on south to it!
way. You and I find obstacles along our way south. What shall we do?
the river. It is many feet high, and many, many feet long. The
obstacle and sweeps over it on south.
Over the great power dam at Keokuk sweeps the Mississippi. And then
you see the struggle of overcoming the obstacle develops light and
power to vitalize the valley. A hundred towns and cities radiate
the light and power from the struggle. The great city of St. Louis,
get the light and the power. The light and the power were latent in
the river, but it took the obstacle and the overcoming to develop
it and make it useful.
That is exactly what happens when you and I overcome our obstacles.
We develop our light and power. We are rivers of light and power,
but it is all latent and does no good until we overcome obstacles
And where the most obstacles are, there you find the most power to
be developed. So many of us do not understand that. We look
southward and we see the obstacles in the road. "I am so
of light and power in you to be developed. If you see no obstacles,
Life is going on south, and overcoming the obstacles. Death is
along the street in almost any town and see the dead ones. There
they are decorating the hitching-racks and festooning the
storeboxes. There they are blocking traffic at the postoffice and
depot. There they are in the hotel warming the chairs and making
the guests stand up. There they are--rows of retired farmers who
have quit work and moved to town to block improvements and die. But
thought the past month. Sometimes they sit and think, but generally
They block the wheels of progress and get in the way of the people
They do not join in to promote the churches and schools and big
brother movements. They growl at the lyceum courses and chautauquas,
money "outa town." Ringling and Barnum & Bailey get theirs.
squirt some "pep" into them and start them on south.
Here we come to the most wonderful and difficult thing in life. It
for anything outside, but for the happiness that comes from within.
and overcomes. But the valley does not bless the river in return.
defile him. The Mississippi makes St. Paul and Minneapolis about
few miles below the Twin Cities and see how, by some mysterious
and the defilement, he has purified it and clarified it, and has
made it a part of himself. And he is greater and farther south!
He fattens upon bumps. Kick him, and you push him farther south.
"Hand him a lemon," and he makes lemonade.
wide and three inches deep; the peevish, destructive Kaw, and all
the Red, the black and the blue floods--all these pour into the
Day by day the Father of Waters goes on south, taking them over and
purifying them and making them a part of himself. Nothing can
becomes, he goes a few miles on south and he is all pure again.
become poisoned by bitter memories and bitter regrets. We carry
us, that sometimes we are bank to bank full of poison and a menace
Oh, forget it! Drop it all. Purify your life and go on south all
sweet again. We forget what we ought to remember and remember what
As you go on south and bless your valley, do you notice the valley
father and mother--every one who tries to carry on the work of the
church, the school, the lyceum and chautauqua, the work that makes
we sit down completely discouraged and say, "I'm done. I'm going to
successful tool is discouragement, which is a wedge, and if he can
You do not go south and overcome your obstacles and bless the
it to live. You do it to remain a living river and not a stagnant,
so many disappointed and disgruntled people in the world. They worked
O, how easy it is to say these things, and how hard it is to do them!
the boat crossing a river more than a mile wide. Standing upon the
ferry-boat, I could look down into the lordly river and then far
knocks, and saw that you never stopped going southward.
And may we read it into our own lives. May we get the vision of
which way to go, and then keep on going south--on and on, overcoming,
and thus making it a part of ourselves, and thus growing greater.
And when he comes to the end of his physical banks, he pushes on
south into the gulf, and goes on south round and round the globe.
When you and I come to our Gulf of Mexico, we must push right on
And when physical banks fail, we go on south beyond this mere husk,
lazy, selfish and unhappy. Perhaps we would go around giving it to
other people to make them lazy, selfish and unhappy.
wild cat and then look at the tabby cat. The wild cat supports
itself and the tabby cat has its million. So the tabby cat has to
When you hear the orator speak and you note the ease and power of
speak when he failed and went back to his room in disgrace,
mortified and broken-hearted? Thru it all there came the
discipline, experience and grim resolve that made him succeed.
When you hear the musician and note the ease and grace of the
performance, do you think of the years of struggle and overcoming
necessary to produce that finish and grace? That is the story of
the actor, the author and every other one of attainment.
conquering races are those that struggle with both heat and cold?
The tropics are the geographical Gussielands.
Crop failures and business stringencies are not calamities, but
drinks to his gods. Then must come the Needful and Needless Knocks
handwriting upon the wall to save him.
they can stand, break their hearts before they can sing, and
to be scourged and fettered to become the Apostle to the Gentiles.
humanity. What throne-rooms are some prisons! And what prisons are
Then, children, when you stand in the row of graduates on
commencement day with your diplomas in your hands, and when your
relatives and friends say, "Success to you!" I shall take your hand
and say, "Defeat to you! And struggles to you! And bumps to you!"
tho twelve years of my life had dropped out of it, and had been
Every minute a new thrill, and no two thrills alike. Five miles of
winding and squirming, twisting and ducking, dodging and summersaulting.
There are places where the tourist wants to grasp his seat and
He looks over the edge of the shelf downward, and then turns to the other
side to look at the face of the cliff they are hugging, and discovers
The car is five thousand feet high where it stops on that last shelf,
and rises eleven hundred feet.
To go up that last eleven hundred feet and stand upon the flat rock
It spreads out below in one great mosaic of turquoise and amber
and emerald, where the miles seem like inches, and where his
Just below is Pasadena and Los Angeles. To the westward perhaps
the faint outlines of Catalina Islands. The ocean seems so close
distances. You throw the pebble and it falls upon your toes!
And Mount Lowe is but a shelf on the side of the higher Sierras.
The granite mountains rise higher to the northward, and to the east
rises "Old Baldy," twelve thousand feet high and snow eternally
alone I stood upon the flat rock at the summit and looked down into
valley below, and dully watched the clouds spread wider and blacker.
over me, and there were millions of miles of sunshine above me. I
matter how black and sunless today, when I have struggled on up the
mountain path, I have gotten above the clouds and found the sun
forever shining and God forever in His heavens.
clearly the plan of a human life. The rocks, the curves and the
see how I could live past that bump. The years have passed and I now
southwest and I could see the sun going down. I could see him sink
lower and lower until his red lips kissed the cheek of the Pacific.
The glory of the sunset filled sea and sky with flames of gold and
where I stood. I was farther up the mountain. I turned and looked
For the peace and the light are always above the storm and the
night, and always in our reach.
I am going on upward. Take my hand and let us go together. Mount Lowe
night, as I am learning to climb and look down upon the storms. I
This will be another Commencement Day and Master's Degree. Infinite
Rejoice and Go Upward!
happiness now in our work, and not tomorrow for our work.
ought to buy them by the gross and send them to their friends."
"The Big Business of Life is a real joy to read. It is big and
ought to be read today and tomorrow and forevermore every
that it is everyone's business to abolish work and turn this
mortals take their work too seriously, and that to them it is a
joyless, cheerless thing? To be able to find happiness, and to
secret of living to the full. And happiness is to be sought
within, and not among the things that lie at our feet. The
book before us is wholesome and vivacious. It provokes many
a smile, and beneath each one is a bit of wisdom it would do us
bought 1000 copies of the booklet "It's Up to You!" and of it he
says. "Parlette's Beans and Nuts is just as good as the Message to
Garcia and will be handed around just us much. I have handed the book
to business men, to young fellows, bond salesmen and such, to our
own vice president, and they all want another copy to send to some
Charles Grilk of Davenport, says: "My two children and I read the
Mississippi River story together and we were thoroly delighted."

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