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Title: Vesper Talks to Girls
Author: Knott, Laura Anna
Language: English
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Principal of Bradford Academy


Boston and New York
Houghton Mifflin Company

The Riverside Press Cambridge


Copyright, 1916, by Laura A. Knott

All Rights Reserved

Published March 1916


                       PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE
                               THIS BOOK



    This volume contains a few of many talks which the author has
    given on Sunday afternoons to the students of Bradford Academy.
    At their request and for their convenience the volume is
    published. While hundreds of addresses to young women of college
    age have found their way into print, the books that deal with
    the problems and needs of younger girls and that look at life
    from their point of view are few. Though these talks were
    inspired by the needs of a definite group, the author will be
    glad if the book finds a wider audience.



                      I. NEW STARTS IN LIFE
                     II. SCHOOL FRIENDSHIPS
                    III. THE ART OF LIVING WITH OTHERS
                     IV. ENDURING HARDNESS
                      V. THE RHYTHM OF LIFE
                     VI. THE USES OF TROUBLE
                    VII. SCHOOL SPIRIT
                   VIII. MAKING THE BEST OF THINGS
                     IX. CONFLICTING LOYALTIES
                      X. THE VALUE OF DISCIPLINE
                     XI. THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE
                    XII. THE PROGRESS OF WOMAN
                   XIII. SOURCES OF HAPPINESS
                    XIV. AFTER GRADUATION


                         VESPER TALKS TO GIRLS


                           NEW STARTS IN LIFE

Life is full of opportunities for new beginnings. Courage and hope go
out of a person only when he ceases to believe that for him there is one
more chance to retrieve the mistakes of the past. George Eliot says, "It
is never too late to be what you might have been." Such a conviction is
necessary if we would live lives of power. There is a sonnet by Senator
Ingalls in which Opportunity is represented as saying,--

                                       "Soon or late
                 I knock, unbidden, once at every gate!
                 ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·
                 ... those who doubt or hesitate,
                 Condemned to failure, penury, and woe,
                 Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.
                 I answer not, and I return no more!"

One who saw life from a different point of view[1] replied by a poem on
the same subject in which Opportunity says,--

            "They do me wrong who say I come no more
              When once I knock and fail to find you in;
            For every day I stand outside your door
              And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win."

The latter view is surely the truer and more inspiring one.

To the person with the forward look and genuine enthusiasm there are
ever-recurring opportunities for a fresh beginning. Indeed, there ought
to be no one for whom each day does not commence the world anew. A
well-known woman, noted for the inspiring and cheer-bringing quality of
her life, used to say upon awakening each morning, "Another great, rich
day!" There is no reason why every one of us should not hail each
returning morning in this spirit.

New Year's Day is proverbially the time for "turning over a new leaf."
The thought of the clean, fresh pages of another year so soon to be
written upon has proved a stimulus and an inspiration in many a life;
and, in spite of all the broken resolutions, the world is on the whole
much better because of a certain fresh impulse to right living which
this day always brings.

Nature has her New Year in the lovely springtime, the time of budding
leaf and blossoming flower and nesting bird. Yet for us human beings the
real New Year's Day of work is neither the first of January nor the
twenty-first of March, but the early autumn. At that time activities of
all sorts that have been dormant throughout the summer take on renewed
life. The stores and shops have a new air of briskness and prosperity;
churches that have languished during the vacation season now settle down
to their wonted usefulness; benevolent organizations open up their
year's campaign; the great army of teachers and students return to their
work rested, freshened and recreated by the long vacation and ready for
new tasks. There is a feeling of joy and strength in the very air.

There is possible at this time, for every student and teacher, a very
real "new start in life." I myself never get over a strange sense of
exhilaration as I realize that another volume of the book of life has
closed and that I am just opening a new one. Never do I cease to be
strangely moved by the thought of the great opportunity that is mine,
the opportunity to retrieve the mistakes of the past. Never do I fail to
be grateful for the privilege of leaving behind me all the blunders and
failures of former years and of beginning life anew.

The student who goes back to the school where other years have been
spent finds much that is different. There are always some new studies,
and no two years ever see quite the same combination of teachers and
pupils. Here, then, are opportunities which may be fraught with
momentous consequences. Some fresh subject may awaken dormant powers,
some new teacher may call forth undreamed-of possibilities, some friend
not yet discovered may add new meaning to life.

But the greatest changes are likely to come to the student who, for the
first time, goes away from home to school or college. Such an event has
been the turning-point in the lives of thousands of men and women. From
that time date their most precious experiences. It was then that they
really began to live. Dull and spiritless, indeed, must be the student
who under such circumstances does not feel his soul stirred within him
with wonder and with expectation. I have always appreciated the feelings
of a young friend of mine, who was hardly able to close her eyes in
sleep the night before she went away to school, so filled was she with
joyful anticipation.

In going away to school among strangers, perhaps the most coveted
opportunity you have is the privilege of taking only your best self with
you. When we live and work with the same people day after day and month
after month, they often get so used to us that they do not recognize the
springing-up of new desires within us and the putting-forth of new
effort, but remember only the faults and failings of the past. When we
go away among those who do not know us, however, our shortcomings will
never be discovered unless they manifest themselves anew. Have you made
mistakes in the past? Have you blundered and have you failed, not once,
but over and over again? Have you been selfish and inconsiderate of the
rights of others? Let no one guess from your conduct now that such has
ever been the case. Have you been indolent, wasting your time, and
placing too high a value upon things not worth while? Among strangers
these faults may be buried, never to come to life again. You will be
judged by what you are, not by what you have been.

It is well to cultivate the habit of mind which lets the dead past bury
its dead. This was St. Paul's attitude toward the things of the past.
"Forgetting the things which are behind, I press forward." There are, of
course, many memories of the past that one would never wish to forget,
memories of uplifting associations and of victories over weaknesses that
give courage and strength for the future. Along with these, however,
there are memories of mistakes and failures now irremediable but which,
though they cannot be effaced, can, in a measure, be atoned for by the
future. Constantly to look backward with pain and regret only paralyzes
one's energy. The fact that much is expected of you for the future
should put you on your mettle and call forth your highest powers.

Your duties and obligations to yourself and to others may, for the most
part, be placed in four classes. You have an intellectual life, a moral
and spiritual life, a social life, and a physical life. Your problem
will be to adjust to one another the various claims upon you from these
different sources. This is not an easy task. It is so difficult, that,
because of inability to make the adjustment, many make shipwreck of what
seemed to be a promising career. Indeed, he is a wise person who at any
age has his life so harmoniously balanced that none of these different
claims unduly crowd the others. Most of us are more or less one-sided.
The best that we can say is that we are working toward the goal of
perfect adjustment. Few reach it.

There are in so-called "society," for example, thousands of women who
have so emphasized one side of their nature, the social, that all other
sides are dwarfed. Life is one constant round of balls and dinners and
social gayeties. What ought to be the spice of life, or its dessert, has
become the main dish of the feast. So in school and college there are
always some who make social pleasures the main issue, forgetting all
higher claims.

We see the exaltation of the physical life in the absurdly exaggerated
emphasis placed upon athletics in many of the colleges for men. The
tacit insistence upon the supreme importance of these and kindred
interests is one of the reasons why scholarship in America is inferior
to that in some European countries. Though athletic interests do not
often encroach upon scholarly work in our schools and colleges for
women, the same cannot be said of other activities, such as dramatics
and the manifold phases of social life.

One who cares only for the things of the intellect may be a "clear, cold
logic engine," but he is not of much use as a human being. Sympathy and
spiritual vision are beyond his ken. The finer side of his nature
remains undeveloped. "He has become a machine," as Emerson declared, "a
thinker, not a man thinking." The student who is merely a grind is not
making the best of his opportunities. In losing all sides of student
life but one, he is not even becoming a scholar in any real sense.

It is even possible to place too much emphasis upon the moral and
spiritual side of life. This does not mean that one's own moral
standards can be too high, nor does it mean that there is anything else
which can weigh for a moment against character. It does mean, however,
that one has other obligations besides that of being good. Many a person
who has walked the path of duty unflinchingly has lived a narrow and
unlovely life.

It will be seen, then, that one of the most difficult lessons the young
student will have to learn will be how much time and how much emphasis
to give to each of these various provinces of student life.

There are people who regard the physical life as an end in itself and
who live only for it. Browning has the right view when he says,--

          "To man, propose this test--
          Thy body at its best,
          How far can that project thy soul on its lone way?"

The physical life always should be subordinated to the mental and the
spiritual life, yet the body must command our respect because it is the
house in which the spirit dwells. "Know ye not that your body is the
temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you?" One of your first duties,
then, is to take care of your health and to make your body the
efficient, ready instrument of your will. You have no more important
duty, not only to self, but to others, than to obey the laws of health,
the most fundamental of which pertain to exercise, sleep, rest, and
food. It is astonishing how few people, especially how few women, there
are who do obey these simple laws, the importance of which ought to be
apparent to every one. Nature's disapproval of such disobedience is
shown promptly, and the penalty she inflicts is inexorable. If ever I
feel inclined to doubt the wisdom of any of Nature's ways--which I
really do not--it is when I see that girls, young, ignorant, and
inexperienced, have so important a matter as their health given into
their own keeping, though their bad judgment or wilfulness may have
consequences so dire! Be willing to deny yourself, to put forth effort,
to pay a very high price if need be, for a healthy body.

The desire for social intercourse is natural and right, and the person
who shuns the society of others is abnormal; yet social intercourse
probably offers, in one form or another, most of the dangers which beset
both young women and young men while in school or college. Those who
fail ignominiously and are obliged to withdraw, fail, not so often
because of lack of ability or insufficient preparation as because they
are swept off their feet by the multitude of their new engagements and
social activities. The mind is full of a thousand other things and study
is deferred until a more convenient season, which never comes. In the
college, where comparatively little supervision over students is
exercised, this has disastrous consequences, though in the school, with
its closer supervision, the student is often saved from himself. It
seems hardly necessary to say that your friends and your pleasures must
not monopolize your whole life. With the sensible student, work comes
first and pleasure afterward. One of the greatest temptations, when you
are surrounded by pleasant friends, is to fritter time away. Hours,
days, months pass by and leave very little that makes life permanently
richer and stronger. Sometimes, indeed, the personality seems almost to
disappear, merged in that of others. I have known girls who were
miserable if they were left alone for half an hour. The reason is that
they have no resources within themselves. They are parasites and derive
their sustenance entirely from others. Such a life is not providing
itself with the intellectual and spiritual resources which we all need
to have at our command, and which should be gained in youth or they are
not likely to be gained at all. Be friendly, be sociable, give your love
freely, but preserve your own individuality and independence.

In no way do we reveal ourselves more surely than in our choice of
companions. Be slow in choosing your nearest and dearest friends. Many a
girl has been very unhappy because she rushed impetuously into a
friendship from which she afterward had to extricate herself at the cost
of great suffering both to herself and to her friend. Take plenty of
time in selecting those who are to be your life friends, and remember
that here, as everywhere, "All is not gold that glitters."

The intellectual life above all else distinguishes man from the brute
creation. Schools and colleges exist chiefly for the purpose of
developing the intellectual life of the young, though one sometimes
meets students who would admit the truth of that statement very
reluctantly if at all. A well-disciplined and well-furnished mind is one
of the chief satisfactions of life. Changing fortune cannot take from us
our mental treasure. Its value never diminishes, but increases, and
never seems greater than when other things upon which we relied have
been snatched from us. If we place reliance upon money, it may take to
itself wings and fly away. We cannot be sure of keeping health. Our
friends may be taken from us. Is it not the part of wisdom, in looking
forward and preparing for what one hopes may be a successful and happy
future, to ask what are the "durable satisfactions" of life? These
should not be sacrificed for ephemeral pleasures.

The ability to focus a well-trained intelligence upon any problem in
hand is one for which we should be willing to pay a high price.
Intellectual capacity and a cultivated mind are not acquired without
effort, and cannot be secured by merely sitting through lectures or
recitations. The student who has a true sense of values will plan her
life in so systematic and orderly a way that her use of time will be
determined by something more than present inclination. You must remember
that in order to have _this_, you must give up _that_. One of the
hardest things for the inexperienced to learn is that some very good
things have to be sacrificed in order that we may not miss better
things. All through life this is so, and there is no advantage in
deferring the time when it must be learned. To your daily work, then,
give your best self, realizing that if you fail in that, you will derive
but little comfort from the fact that you have had some success in other
things. Mental concentration and correct methods of work should be the
first lessons learned, and they should be learned with thoroughness.

Lastly, we have a moral and spiritual nature. One might have superb
intellectual powers and brilliant social gifts, yet if he lacked
character, these would bring him neither content nor success in any
large sense. Character is the foundation upon which all success worthy
the name must rest. If the foundation be insecure, it matters little how
fine the superstructure. When the writer of old said, "With all thy
getting, get wisdom," he meant something more than knowledge. Wisdom
means insight into life and into human nature. Still more, it implies
some comprehension of "the ways of God with men," that is, of the
profound laws which underlie the government of the moral and spiritual
universe. The greatest struggle of all, to the student, should be the
struggle for the ideal life. In moral and spiritual stature, are you
small? Then it is your sacred duty to become large. Where will there
ever be a better opportunity than under the ideal conditions that
surround you, with stimulating lessons, inspiring teachers,
understanding and appreciative friends and leisure to use all of these
for the attainment of personal power?

Remember that character is not something that will take care of itself.
You do not really expect to acquire knowledge for which you do not work.
You admit that if you would have intellectual capacity you must study
and train the mind. Yet it is hard for you to comprehend that you have
anything to do with the development of your own character. Do not
believe that honor, courage, generosity and courtesy come by chance.

There is this to be said, however, about the development of character.
It is, to use Woodrow Wilson's phrase, "a by-product." As he says, it
comes whether you will or not as a consequence of a life devoted to
duty. You do not deliberately say, "I will improve my character." What
you do say is, "I will do the duty that plainly lies before me. I will
not shirk it. I will not defer it." In this way, and perhaps only in
this way, does character grow.

There is no royal road to high character any more than there is to
learning. Indeed, there is no royal road to anything worth while. "What
wouldst thou?" says the old proverb; "Pay for it and take it." Character
is formed from within, by the efforts and strivings and aspirations of
the individual. The will is made strong by choosing the right, not by
having the right thrust upon it.

Who can tell what momentous changes are to be wrought in your life by
going away to school? The windows of your soul will be opened in a
hundred new directions. You will learn, or you ought to learn, what
things are most worth while. There is so much more in life than you ever
dreamed there was, so much more of interest and beauty and abiding
charm! This means that even if you do your best there will be time for
you to master only a little of that knowledge which attracts its
devotees and forever beckons them on. Life is too short either to know
or to do but a fraction of all that every earnest person longs to know
and to do. Until we reach this view of things we can have no sense of
the true value of time. As soon as we do reach it, as soon as we grasp
something of the real worth of life, we cannot waste time, for time is
the stuff of which life is made.


Footnote 1:

  Walter Malone.


                           SCHOOL FRIENDSHIPS

"Send a boy to college," says Emerson, "and his fellows educate him";
and Edward Everett Hale has said that the best part of the education one
gets at college is that which his fellow students give him. I have
always felt sorry for those unfortunate children whose solitary
education is obtained with tutors or governesses rather than in schools
with other boys and girls. While not disparaging the influence of the
teacher, which I well know from personal experience may be a
transforming and vitalizing power in a young life, I yet believe it to
be true that the standards of most young people and their ways of
looking at life are determined chiefly by the companions and intimate
associates of their own age.

During certain periods of development, at any rate, the youth is shaped
by the opinions and ideals of the world of his own contemporaries,
rather than, as we teachers and parents sometimes fondly imagine, by the
ideals imposed upon him from our world. We who have passed beyond that
stage can recall how truly we lived and moved and had our being in that
world, with its standards which now, perhaps, seem to us somewhat
unreal. In matters of dress, speech, and deportment how much less we
cared for the opinion of our elders than for the approval of our group
or "set" of friends! This period of life may be soon outgrown, but while
it lasts there are tremendous forces at work upon the young life, and
their potency for good or evil is often underestimated.

Chief among these forces for good is a good friendship. The real meaning
of unselfishness has many a time been learned first through a strong
friendship. Love is essentially self-forgetful. Only he who has learned
to love has learned to live. Nothing more surely calls out the best in
one and compels one to do his best than an ennobling friendship. Such
friendships, then, should be encouraged and young people should have
abundant opportunity for forming them. One of the many advantages a fine
school offers over even the best private instruction is the rich
opportunity for congenial friendships. Like attracts like, and the
finest spirits in the school will be your friends if you have that
within you which draws them and can hold them. What you are to be during
all the remainder of your life will be determined largely by the friends
chosen now, for they will help to give your nature its bent, from which
it is not likely to depart. Afterward, looking back, you will not be
able to comprehend how life could have been lived at all if you had
never met certain persons who have become a part of your very existence.

It is not only in youth that friendship is one of the chief blessings of
life. It has been regarded by the choicest spirits of every age as among
the best gifts of the gods to men. Open any book of "familiar
quotations" and you may read the tributes that have been paid to
friendship by the great poets, from Bible times to the present. It has
generally been believed, however, that youth is the time when the most
transforming and most enduring friendships are made. This is, doubtless,
because later in life we are likely to become engrossed with our own
affairs, the cares of life press upon us, character becomes fixed, and
the outgoing of self demanded in a true friendship becomes increasingly
difficult. Yet, though youth is the ideal time for the formation of
lasting friendships, the great lack, at this period of life, is a true
sense of values. We do not enjoy our friendships to their full because
we do not realize their worth.

Youth is wasteful of many things, but perhaps of nothing more than of
friendship. Too many people wake up later in life to find that what has
been so thoughtlessly thrown away never can be regained. The privilege
of having a friend and the privilege of being a friend are among the
greatest blessings this world affords. To discover in middle life that
the friends of one's youth have, one by one, fallen away, because one
made no effort to keep them, will be a sad awakening.

We all have our own conception of friendship, based upon our own
experiences; thus to no two persons does the term mean exactly the same.
To some the content of the word grows richer and deeper as life goes on,
while with others the reverse is true. The cynic believes there is no
such thing as true friendship, yet the cynic once was young and probably
not a stranger to the transforming power of friendship. What we are to
believe about friendship, then, depends upon our own character and upon
the kind of life we live.

It takes ideal people to form an ideal friendship; therefore there are
not many such friendships. Erring human beings that we are, we carry our
frailties into every relation of life. "I am of opinion," says Cicero,
"that except among the virtuous, friendship cannot exist." Have you a
real friend? While it is true that the friendship between you may not be
an ideal one, it is also true that through it you and your friend are
both having a rare opportunity to grow toward your ideal and in this way
to make your friendship perfect. Would you rid yourself of egregious
faults? There are two instead of one to grapple with each fault. Would
you march on to the attainment of more splendid virtues? There are two
instead of one to struggle and to win the victory.

How to make friends perhaps no one can tell you, since friends are born,
not made. We choose our pleasures, our books, our occupations, but we do
not choose our friends. We only discover them. The formation of a
friendship is an unconscious process and must be so. There can be
nothing deliberate and premeditated about it. Why is it that one sees
the best in you and another the worst? Why does one understand before
you speak while another cannot understand even after you explain? If we
could answer these questions we should be able to reduce friendship to a
mathematical formula, which no one wishes to do. The mystery of it is
one of its charms. One can only say as did Montaigne about his friend,
"If a man should importune me to give a reason why I loved him I can
only answer, because it was he, because it was I." Some people attract
us by a certain intuition of character. If the intuition be true and if
there be adaptability and community of interests, a foundation exists
for a close and enduring friendship.

The basis for friendship is personality. You have nothing to give your
friend but yourself. You should, therefore, make heavy demands upon
yourself. Can you offer your friend anything less than a constantly
enriching life? Good intentions are not enough; there must be
performance. You have probably asked yourself many times whether you
deserve this high friendship. Perhaps you do not. Then resolve that you
sometime will deserve it. You are interesting to your friend now. What
can you do that you may be more so to-morrow?

Those who lack the power of making friends--and there are unfortunately
many such--have one of two failings, or both. Often they are not
sincere. The insincere person cannot be a true friend and may not have a
true friend. We demand that our friends shall "ring true." A much more
common fault than insincerity is selfishness. One may be not positively
and actively selfish but self-centered. The self-centered person does
not know how to enter sympathetically into the feelings of others. Such
persons should earnestly strive to share the joys and sorrows of those
about them and to make the experiences of others their own. Sometimes we
say of a person, "He has a genius for making friends." Such persons have
in an eminent degree the capacity for carrying close to their hearts the
interests of others. Remember that unless you really care about the
concerns and the welfare of others, there is no possible way to make
them believe you do.

It is worth while to cultivate the art of making friends, or, rather, it
is worth while to put forth every effort to make one's self worthy of
having friends. He who said that a friend "doubles our joys and halves
our sorrows" might have expressed it even more strongly. The author of
the Book of Ecclesiastes understood this when he wrote, "Two are better
than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they
fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when
he falleth; for he hath not another to help him."

You owe your friend, first of all, integrity of character and sincerity
in all your dealings. With your friend you can be yourself, your real
self. Any pretense, any deceit, any concealment of vital things will
create a barrier that nothing can ever break down. You may or you may
not admit your friend to the inmost recesses of your heart, but so far
as you do admit her, there must be straightforward honesty. Integrity
includes not only our dealings with our friends, it affects all our
relations with others. The oft-quoted couplet from Lovelace expresses a
truth which it behooves every one to take to heart who would be or would
have a friend:--

                 "I could not love thee, dear, so much
                   Loved I not honour more."

No real friendship can exist without loyalty on both sides. It is the
place of a friend to look after the interests of her friend as if they
were her own. Much inspiration may be gained from studying the great
friendships of history, such as that of David and Jonathan, of Ruth and
Naomi, or of Tennyson and Hallam. Does your friendship in comparison
with any one of these seem insignificant, even puerile? Then use the
greatest friendship of which you know as a touchstone by which to test
your own. For a real friend to speak an unkind word about an absent
friend is unthinkable. To envy her, or to desire precedence over her in
any way, is proof that your love for her is not real, but only assumed.
How far should loyalty go? We all remember the answer of Christ when
asked, "How often should I forgive my brother, until seven times?" His
answer, until "seventy times seven," means, as we all know, that there
should be no limit to one's forgiveness. In the same way, there should
be no limit to your loyalty to your friend. It should be bounded only by
her need and your power.

Of course, there should be community of interests and mutual trust and
self-revelation. You have friends whom you admit only to the outer
citadel of your heart. Some are "good company" and you love to share
your pleasures with them, but in your serious moments you turn away from
them. Others share your work, or some special interest in your life. But
with your real friend you share the deepest things of your existence.
She understands you in your highest moments, she respects your ideals
and shares them, she comprehends the fundamental purpose of your life.
Only friends who can share each other's best selves know the highest

I have said that there must be mutual self-revelation. Never make the
mistake of urging the confidence of your friend. Do not force any doors.
If you have not the key that unlocks her heart, try to find it by making
yourself worthy. Self-giving must be voluntary or it is in vain. We
elicit from others only that which we have the power to make our own.
Mutual trust would forever banish all petty jealousy. Your friend is not
accountable to you for all her doings, and for you to act as if she were
will only estrange her from you. Life is too rich in opportunity for her
to be limited by any one relationship. If your friend's life is to
expand, her claims upon others and theirs upon her must be recognized.

If your friendship is a worthy one, you are constantly gaining in
patience, in courtesy, and in self-control, for love is the greatest of
all teachers. Do you promptly check each impatient word that springs to
your lips? Do you show the friend who so easily overlooks your faults
the same fine courtesy that you show to the stranger who would not
overlook them? What a strange idea we sometimes have that love gives us
the privilege of rudeness! Your friend may love you in spite of an
occasional fit of ill-temper, but no one ever loved another better for
it. To be exacting, domineering, or selfish may not drive your friend
completely away from you, but it will not strengthen the tie that binds
your hearts together.

There should be a certain equality between friends. I do not mean that
love is not able easily to bridge over many kinds of inequalities, as
that of a difference in station in life or in age, or even in education.
I mean that a friendship is harmful when one of the friends is a
parasite, receiving everything and contributing nothing. Self-respect
demands that each shall give as well as receive.

In his essay on "Friendship," Emerson says no truer word than this:
"Your friend is he who makes you do what you can." One must not be a
fault-finder or a thorn in the flesh of one's friends, yet friendship
has no more sacred duty than to point out faults by showing the better
way. "He who truly loves is irreconcilable to faults in one whom he
loves; they blur the vision which always lies in his soul."

On the other hand, it is especially the office of a friend to recognize
the excellencies of his friend. "Your friend is he who tells you of your
virtues and who insists upon them most when you are most inclined to
doubt their existence." Who of us is not at times sorely in need of this
kindly office of a friend? In our moments of discouragement, when faith
in self is at a low ebb, the true friend comes to us and by his faith in
us restores the balance of life. And what a comfort then is that belief
in us and in our powers and possibilities! Friends who do not perform
this office, each for the other, as often as the opportunity arises,
have missed much of the blessedness of true friendship!

Those who love know that love is not blind. Love has the truest sight.
If you want to know what a person really is, do not ask one who hates
him, but one who loves him. Yet love may blind itself. To shut your eyes
to the faults of your friend is not the way to lessen those faults. To
stand between her and the penalty which her deeds have justly brought
upon her is to deprive her of one of the most important means of growth.
If your affection is of a poor and narrow sort, you will constantly urge
your friend to consult her own pleasure and interests in preference to
those of others, in this way stifling in her every altruistic impulse.
Acting and reacting upon each other in this way you will find that
generous feeling and disinterested affection in both of you will
constantly diminish. Any two people who love each other should cherish,
each in the other, the spirit of self-forgetful service.

A friendship, like everything else in life, is known by its fruits. "Men
do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs from thistles." The fruits of a
worthy friendship are higher and ever higher ideals of life and duty. If
your friendship has made you less sensitive to other obligations and
less responsive to the call of duty, beware of it! If your love for one
has lessened your affection for your other friends, it is not a good
friendship. Friendship should expand the heart, not contract it.
Everything savoring of narrowness and exclusiveness is a hindrance. You
must love your friend so much that you love the whole world better
because of her. You must respect and reverence her so truly that all
human nature is dignified and ennobled through her.

               "All things through thee take nobler form
                 And look beyond the earth;
               The mill-round of our fate appears
                 A sun-path in thy worth."

What is the place of the emotional element in friendship? Not the chief
place, it may be confidently asserted. In the richest and most enduring
friendships, other things are of more importance. Not that there is an
absence of emotion--far from it. The danger, however, of
over-emphasizing emotion is that the friendship may descend to mere
sentimentality. What is more important than emotion in friendship, do
you ask? The unity of spirit that gradually takes place in a fine
friendship; the feeling that each is perfectly understood by the other;
and the knowledge that each can depend upon the other's loyalty in any
and every emergency of life.

It usually takes years to learn how to _be_ a true friend and often some
hard experiences are necessary to teach us to appreciate our friends.
Sometimes we look back upon the wasted years, and, thinking how rich and
happy they might have been, we cry out, "If I had only known!" And
sometimes, alas! our friends have to be taken from us ere we learn their
worth. Then, as we sit alone with our thoughts, with what a heartache do
we remember our every failure to measure up to the stature of the
perfect friend!

If you would be a true friend and if you would appreciate your friends
now, without waiting for costly lessons, ask yourself some searching
questions. Do you care more about what you can get out of your
friendship or about what you can put into it? Do you think more about
being served or about serving? Do you wonder whether your friend loves
you enough or whether you cannot love her more? Do you never imagine
yourself slighted or neglected or misunderstood? If you can answer these
questions as they ought to be answered, you are on the way to a perfect
friendship. Phillips Brooks, who was famous for his friendships, wrote,
"Surely there is no more beautiful sight to see in all this world than
the growth of two friends' natures, who, as they grow old together, are
always fathoming with newer needs deeper depths of each other's life and
opening richer views of one another's helpfulness."

Does friendship cost anything? Yes. All the best things in the world
cost something and only they can have them who are willing to pay the
price. In its highest and most enduring form friendship belongs, as I
have said, only to the highest and finest natures. So much does it cost
that no others will--perhaps no others can--pay the price. What is the
price? That is the point--one never knows the cost in advance. Whatever
the price, however, the true friend is ready to pay it. No sacrifice is
too great to make for a real friend.

Yet, sad to say, many a friendship makes shipwreck even though no
heroic, sublimely self-sacrificing deeds were demanded of either of the
parties to it. The things that would have kept it alive were so little,
so easy, but they were too much! After your school days are over and you
and your friend have gone your separate ways, it will take time to write
those weekly letters. Will your friendship be worth enough to you to pay
that price? And by and by, when new interests have come into your life,
it will be even less easy to perform those offices of friendship which
must not be neglected if friends are to continue to have any share in
each other's lives. To keep up the pretty customs of old--to send the
birthday gift, the Christmas remembrance, the occasional message of warm
and unchanging love--all these things take time in such a busy world!
And so "the little rift within the lute" appears, which, ever widening,
will slowly silence all. It is not a cheerful story, but it is the
history of many a friendship which had believed itself eternal. Some of
our early friendships we outgrow, and it is best that we should. It is
part of "putting away childish things." But if we realized what we were
doing, it is inconceivable that we should ever depart so far from the
dreams of our youth as to let any true friendship go.

Unless you are very watchful and loving, then, the old friends will, one
by one, drop out of your life and make no sign. I beg that you will see
to it that there is at least a handful of them left. They should be the
real ones, who genuinely loved you and always will. "Grapple them to thy
soul with hoops of steel." Never let them go. Let no changing tides of
fortune sweep them from you. Be very patient with them as you expect
them to be with you. Make allowances for the innumerable appearances of
neglect, saying to yourself that they are only appearances. Friends who
bear and forbear with each other in this way will find that the
friendship grows deeper and stronger with each succeeding year.

If you really want to be such a friend as I have described, I can think
of nothing that will help you more than to read over often the
thirteenth chapter of St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, that
matchless chapter on _love_, and to try to make your affection as near
as possible like that which he describes. Nowhere else, in the Bible or
out of it, have we so clear, so true, so moving a description of love.
Just to read it over brings a glow to the heart and a kindlier feeling
toward the whole human race. Let the love that you give to your friends
be the love that suffereth long and is kind; that envieth not, that
seeketh not its own, is not easily provoked; that beareth all things,
believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things; above all,
that _never faileth_.


                     THE ART OF LIVING WITH OTHERS

You may not think living with others is an art, but it is one of the
finest and most difficult of arts. By learning it early in life we save
ourselves many unpleasant experiences. If we are difficult to live with,
our punishment is severe and inexorable. No one will live with us who
can escape from us. We all know people who, upon entering a room, bring
with them a cloud. On the other hand, we also know those whose coming
always brings sunshine. Some one said of a young friend of mine of
unusually radiant personality, "When she went down the corridor it
seemed as if a light had passed by." A Boston daily paper once had this
item: "Yesterday was dark and rainy, but Phillips Brooks passed down
Newspaper Row and the sun shone." It goes without saying that these
persons were good to live with.

One may be honest, sincere, generous, and, in the main, kind, and yet be
difficult to live with because of the absence of the so-called lesser
virtues. We must have the elemental virtues as foundations of character,
but they are not enough. As a Bible writer puts it, it is "the little
foxes that spoil the vineyards." The "little foxes" are the little
faults which arise within us almost unnoticed, and which grow upon us
with added years. Some of these faults cause people to want to avoid us
and seek the company of those who are pleasanter to have about. To want
to be liked is a laudable desire when one does not sacrifice anything
higher for it. To aim to be a person whose presence brings gladness to
others is not only your right, but your duty. There is a cheap
popularity which those who seek it are willing to purchase at any cost.
That is not what I am talking about. I will name some of the little
faults which often spoil an otherwise admirable character.

_Unnecessary criticism of others._ I say _unnecessary_ criticism. All
honor and praise to the one who can speak the word of admonishment or
reproof when it ought to be spoken and in the right spirit and the right
manner; who can give warning or suggestion at the proper time and place
and in a tactful way. We all need more friends who are not afraid to
tell us of our faults with the high motive of aiding us to overcome
them; who will even run the risk of losing our friendship in order that
they may help us to be true to our best selves. But how much of the
fault-finding in the world does any good or is intended to do any good?
Is it not true that much of it merely gives vent to irritability on the
part of the fault-finder? The next time you are tempted to find fault,
ask yourself two questions: First, will it do any good? Next, am I doing
it in the right spirit? Unless these two questions can be answered in
the affirmative, then silence is golden. Moreover, criticism should,
whenever possible, be tempered with praise. We can take much from one
who recognizes the good in us and who knows that our virtues far
outweigh our failings.

Another of the little foxes is _fretfulness_, _grumbling_, _nagging_,
call it what you will. We all recognize it when we come in contact with
it and probably we have been shocked at times to discover it in
ourselves. This fault grows rapidly in the atmosphere of loving
tolerance. It never would have an opportunity to develop in us if we
were not surrounded by those who love us, make excuses for us, and put
up with us. Strangers would not submit to it and we should not think of
asking them to do so. It is a subtle danger, that creeps on us so
stealthily that often we are not aware of its approach. It may come at
first from some disordered physical state. The happy, healthy child does
not whine, the ailing child usually does; too often this is the
beginning of an irritability that pursues its victim through life.

We Americans are a nervous, excitable people, partly, perhaps, because
of climatic conditions. A stimulating climate fosters a tendency to
disorders of the nervous system. We should, therefore, be on our guard
against this type of sin that doth so easily beset us. Our physical
condition is usually more within our control than we are willing to
admit. The girl who keeps late hours, takes little exercise, and eats
injudiciously is morally responsible for her irritable condition, for
the remedy is in her own hands. Can you not remember some time when you
retired at night feeling ill-used and unappreciated, filled with the
thought that life was full of trials and crosses and that your lot was
particularly unhappy--only to wake up the next morning in a glorious
world where your condition in life seemed a very fortunate one? It is
not necessary to adduce arguments to prove that one of your first duties
is to keep yourself every day and every hour of your life in the best
possible physical condition. You can conquer only by making it a matter
of conscience. Alternating work and rest, sufficient recreation and
amusement, and always some change after prolonged labor are necessary to
keep one in good physical condition. As a result, you find yourself in
possession of a serenity and a self-control which forbid irritability.

Have you a quick, hot _temper_? You cannot live amicably with others
until you have learned to control it. A display of temper is the flash
of lightning, the burst of flame. It is all over in an instant, yet, in
a fit of temper what may one not say or do? He is "beside himself," we
say--that is, he is no longer himself, but some one else outside of
himself. Have you ever, in a burst of temper, wounded those you love
best in all the world? Have you said or done things that you feared had
lost you the respect of some one whose good opinion was of priceless
value to you? Have you given utterance to words that you would give
years of your life to recall? If so, worse, almost, than anything else,
is the fact that you have lost your own self-respect. What is more
undignified, more ridiculous than one who has lost control of himself
and is saying and doing things to-day of which he will bitterly repent
to-morrow? Remember that nothing can more easily cost you the respect of
others than a display of temper. Thereafter you are marked as one who
lacks balance, dignity, power.

                  "If wishing could bring them back,
                  If wishing could bring them back--
                    The wrathful words that flew away
                    To mar the joy of another's day--
                  If wishing could bring them back!"

But wishing cannot bring them back, as we all know to our cost. The only
thing to do is to learn our lesson and in the future to keep the mastery
of self. "He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a

If you have a quick temper, do not bemoan the fact, but be thankful. It
probably means that you have spirit, enthusiasm, power to do things, the
achieving will. Do not ask to change places with the sluggish person who
lacks the capacity to feel keenly and to dare greatly. Rather, learn to
control your temper instead of letting it control you. We do not admire
a person who cannot get angry.

In reading the biography of a great man recently, I found these words:
"He had the power of a great wrath." Is it not true that all people who
have accomplished large things have had this power? George Washington
was seldom angry, yet, when his righteous indignation was roused, it was
like a consuming fire. We all remember the story of Abraham Lincoln,
who, when only a young man, seeing some slaves auctioned off in the New
Orleans slave market, declared, "If I ever get a chance to hit that
thing I will hit it hard!" And he did hit it hard. St. Paul says, "Be ye
angry and sin not." Christ himself more than once showed the power of a
great indignation, as witness the occasion when he drove the
money-changers out of the temple with a whip of cords. There are wrongs
being done that should cause your blood to boil with indignation, and
you will be not less but more capable of feeling and expressing your
wrath at wrong-doing if you control yourself when small things cross

The acquirement of self-control is not so difficult as it seems. All you
need to do is to make it a habit. If you only knew it, some of the
calmest, serenest, most self-controlled persons of your acquaintance
were once conspicuous for a high temper. "What man has done man can do."

_Self-will_ is a fault which spoils many friendships and is an element
of discord in many families. It is a determination to have one's own
way. If one is persistent and disagreeable enough about it, one always
succeeds in getting it, for others will not think the matter of
sufficient importance continually to oppose. When we have this quality
in youth, by middle age people are saying of us, "He is set in his ways,
he is domineering, autocratic." This tendency often shows itself in a
determination to have the last word. Who has not at some time been in a
family where heated discussions were continually arising out of some
trifle? One says the thing in question happened Monday and another
insists it was Thursday, until finally every one has forgotten what was
the real subject of discussion. In the intercourse between you and your
friend, is there one whose will prevails in every case of disagreement?
Then beware. That way lies danger for both. In your family is there one
who determines every plan and settles every course of action? Some one
is in danger of becoming a despot.

If we would be good to live with we must not be too _exacting_. We all
have the "defects of our qualities," and this fault is one that often
characterizes the person of very high ideals. We ought to be
dissatisfied with ourselves. A passion for perfection should forever
forbid any self-complacency. We ought also to demand the best of others
so far as we may. But how far have we a right to hold them to the same
standards as ourselves? We do not know the springs of action in their
lives, "the moving why they do it." Do not give your friends the
uncomfortable feeling that you are continually disappointed in them.
Good sense, sympathy, and tact are necessary if we would act the rôle of
mentor to those about us.

The _intolerant_ person is hard to live with. By intolerance I mean the
inability to get another person's point of view. We are prone to demand
that others look through our own glasses; we think that any other point
of view than ours is wrong. Young people are said to be, on the whole,
intolerant. The tolerant spirit we often acquire as we grow older. If
you are serious-minded, do not think all lively people frivolous. If you
are gay, remember that not all serious persons are stupid. When you
respect others, respect their opinions and try to see the reason for
them. We need more of that kind of trust in each other. Not all the good
people are in your church nor are all the honest men in your father's
political party.

_Discourtesy_ is one of the enemies of friendly intercourse. By this I
mean all that is not gentle, kindly, and refined. Rudeness kills
affection almost as readily as does unfaithfulness. We should not
neglect with our nearest and dearest those refinements and amenities
which we instinctively practice with strangers, and which oil the
machinery of life and make it run smoothly. Do you say, "But I must be
myself in my own home. I must speak as I please and act as I feel"? Not
if to be yourself is to act the churl; not if it is to blurt out every
unkind thought that may come to your mind. Home is the place for
dressing-gown and slippers, not for boorishness. It is a great thing to
be able to win friends, but greater to be able to keep them.

                 "As similarity of mind,
                 Or something not to be defined
                   First fixes our attention,
                 So manners decent and polite,
                 The same we practiced at first sight,
                   Will save it from declension."

Finally, no _selfish_ person is good to live with. Selfishness in one
form or another is at the root of most of the evil in the world. It is
an insidious foe, and there are none of us whom it does not attack. It
is in the home that habits of unselfishness must be developed or they
are likely never to be developed at all. In the home there is an
opportunity to practice unselfishness every day and every hour. Nowhere
else are there so many opportunities to be watchful of the needs of
others and to be ready to supply them. Nowhere else are the occasions so
manifold in which one may surrender one's own pleasure for the good of
others. Yet, wherever people live together, there is constant
opportunity for the practice of this virtue.

These are some of the little foxes that spoil the vines. There have been
people who have been exacting, fault-finding, irritable, self-willed,
and discourteous, who yet have lived honest lives and have accomplished
something of good in the world. Yet the good accomplished would have
been far greater and their lives would have been much happier if, to the
more fundamental virtues, there had been added the fine flowering of
character which comes with the addition of those particular qualities
which make one comfortable to live with, a pleasant person to have


                          ENDURING HARDNESS[2]

In the beautiful cathedral in Oxford there is a stained-glass window,
each pane of which represents certain well-known characters in the
Bible. Upon my first visit to the cathedral one of these windows
immediately attracted my attention, and I never visited the place
afterward without finding my eyes wandering to that spot. The picture is
of the child Timothy, kneeling by the side of his mother, who is
teaching him. In its child-purity and wistfulness, the boy Timothy
reminds one of the "Infant Samuel" by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

Timothy, as you know, was a young friend of St. Paul's, and the two
epistles in the New Testament called by his name were letters which St.
Paul wrote to the young man, whom he loved as a son, and whom, indeed,
again and again he calls his son.

St. Paul was a man who won to a remarkable degree the admiration and
love of those with whom he lived and worked. He seems to have been
almost without kindred in the years when we know him, going about from
place to place and establishing churches, then leaving them to the care
of others. But, though without a home of his own or family ties, he
finds himself at home and among dear friends wherever he goes. Few men
have ever been so loved. He always made a place for himself in the
hearts of the people with whom he worked. This was particularly true of
the young men about him, and we have many touching passages showing his
affection for them and theirs for him. He says he yearns to see them, he
longs for their welfare, he prays for them without ceasing, and he sends
these young men out filled with his spirit, to carry on his work. Of
these young men, Timothy seems to have been the one he loved best. He
sent him to be the head of some of the churches as a sort of bishop, and
the two letters which we have from St. Paul to him are letters of advice
regarding the management of the churches. They emphasize above all
things the importance of personal character. Timothy, as we learn from
these letters of St. Paul, had been brought up most religiously by his
mother, Lois, and his grandmother, Eunice, who seem to have been two of
Paul's dearest friends and co-workers. "From a child thou hast known the
scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation," said St.
Paul to him.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed."

"Thou, therefore, endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

The letter from which these sentences are taken, the second Epistle to
Timothy, is supposed to be the last letter Paul ever wrote. It was
written under peculiarly solemn circumstances and contains the deep,
heartfelt advice of an old man to a young man whom he loves as his own
child. It is a sad letter, because Paul is in prison and he knows that
his end is near. He believes that he will soon be put to death, and we
know that his premonition proved true. In the last letter which he was
ever to pen he speaks of the things which he most desires for his
beloved Timothy. I think we shall be impressed with the fact that he
omits the gifts that most people wish for those whom they love, and asks
for some others upon which the world has not been prone to set high

Fathers toil that they may give their children wealth and all that it
will buy. They slave in offices, wear out their health, and give up most
of the refining and elevating influences of life. And the children
squander as fast as they can the money that has come to them so easily,
in ways that only do them harm; in ways that take energy and will and
purpose out of them; or rather, that never give these virtues an
opportunity to develop. A few years ago much attention was directed to
an epigrammatic remark of Mr. Roosevelt's in regard to the American
multi-millionaire, "whose son is a fool and whose daughter a foreign
princess." The gratification of every want without effort on the part of
the individual must breed selfishness and a whole train of attendant
evils. Indeed, many young people whose parents are far from wealthy grow
up with utterly selfish ideas about money and little knowledge of its
true use and value.

I might speak of many more things which indulgent parents often wish for
their children, but perhaps they may all be summed up in one
phrase--_easy lives_. They want no rough winds to blow on their beloved
ones; for them no dusty roads, or stony paths, or rugged heights to
climb. They must walk in sunshine on beds of flowers. For the children
of others the toil, the hardship, the suffering; for their own a life of
luxurious ease.

But what gift or blessing does St. Paul ask for the young man so dear to
him? An easy, luxurious life? How the great apostle would have scorned
such a thought! Instead he asks that the youth may learn how to _endure

"Hardness" in our lives is not likely to be mainly physical hardship,
perhaps not that at all, though this kind of endurance was one of the
elements that contributed to St. Paul's greatness. He tells us that he
had been beaten with rods, that he had been stoned, had suffered
shipwreck, cold, hunger, and nakedness. Nothing daunted him, no obstacle
was to him insurmountable, he feared naught, even death itself. The
greatness of his work is due to his remarkable physical endurance as
well as to his superb moral courage. In comparison with him how weak and
useless must even the best of us seem to ourselves! Though we may never
be called upon to endure dangers or privations, can we not see what a
splendid thing it is, this independence of physical comfort, this
fearlessness, this dependence upon inward resources rather than upon
outward support? And yet how many people we know whose day is spoiled if
the morning meal is not to their taste, whose spirits sink with cloudy
weather, whose physical comfort or discomfort largely governs
disposition and conduct! Surely a quality which it is worth the while of
young people to cultivate is physical "hardness"--ability to endure
discomfort, indifference to luxury and ease, independence of outward

But for most of us there is another kind of "enduring hardness" which is
even more important. It is learning to do without the things we cannot
or ought not to have, whatever they may be, and to derive happiness from
the things which we can have. It is learning to do as a matter of course
the difficult and the disagreeable things that ought to be done. There
is not one of us who does not long for some unattainable thing. Yet if
it is not for us, we should turn to what we have, or can have, and make
the best of that.

Suppose that circumstances refuse to allow you to surround yourself with
the friends you love best or to live after the manner that would most
please you,--and this will happen to many after school days are
over,--what is there left but to make the very most of the friends whose
companionship you have and to find the best in the circumstances which
surround you? And if you cannot choose the kind of life you dream would
be best for you, in the place where you feel that you could be happiest,
remember that success or failure in life for you will depend upon your
power to adapt yourself to your environment and to draw forth, from
every inevitable combination of circumstances, new material for growth.
This is, in a very high sense, "enduring hardness." Suppose you have
been making cherished plans for the future and all at once they are torn
to shreds. What then? Can you pick up the threads of your life, change
the pattern, but still weave something beautiful with them? And can you
do it--not with cold and stoic fortitude, but cheerfully and serenely?
If so, that is "enduring hardness" in the same spirit in which St. Paul
endured it.

It is well for us sometimes to imagine ourselves stripped of all these
external props to happiness, such as money, position, and influential
friends, and to ask ourselves what kind of a life we could make without
them. It is then that we find out what we are really worth. We all
believe--though we usually act as if we did not believe it--that to
build up a strong and noble character is the chief end and aim of life.
But how seldom, unless forced by circumstance, do we give ourselves the
opportunity of acquiring those virtues which more than any others make
for high character! Nothing is so good for the development of character
as struggle, suffering, _hardness_.

I remember a letter that I received recently from a young woman of my
acquaintance. The only daughter of wealthy parents, she had enjoyed
every advantage and comfort of life and she knew that it was likely she
would continue to have them. This very fact gave her anxiety, and she
wrote, "What can we, who are born to luxury, do to offset the lack of
struggle?" She did well to be anxious. There must be something to
counterbalance this lack, yet how few who are born to wealth realize it!

I often say to myself, as I think of some aimless, indolent, yet really
able girl, "What a blessing it would be if she were thrown upon her own
resources and forced to earn her own living!" Of another, too
pleasure-loving, lacking in earnestness and depth of character, I
regretfully say, "I am afraid nothing will touch her or wake her up to
the realities of life until some great grief comes to her." What a pity
to be able to learn one's lesson only at such great cost!

When Adoniram Judson, about to go to India as one of the group of our
earliest foreign missionaries a little over one hundred years ago,
sought in marriage the hand of Ann Hasseltine, of Bradford, he wrote as
follows to her father:--

"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter
early in the spring, to see her no more in this world; whether you can
consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the
hardships and sufferings of a missionary life; whether you can consent
to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of
the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to
degradation, persecution, and perhaps a violent death."

A remarkable letter, indeed! And Adoniram Judson and Ann, his wife, did
suffer most of the hardships predicted. But if they had not, those lands
which sat in darkness would not have seen a great light. The blessings
of civilization and of Christianity would not have spread to the
remotest parts of the earth as they have, unless there had been some
cast in heroic mould who were ready to take their lives in their hands
and if need be pay the last full measure of devotion.

The habit of having everything one wants and of doing all one desires to
do is a fatal habit and never should be formed at any age, especially in
youth. Instead, cultivate independence of luxury and ease and learn the
joy that St. Paul felt in knowing that he had within himself the power
to meet and cope with whatever difficulties, obstacles, or dangers life
might have in store for him.

In this thought of Phillips Brooks we find a striking likeness to the
earnest message of St. Paul to Timothy:--

"Do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for
tasks equal to your powers; pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then
the doing of your work shall be no miracle, but you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which
has come in you by the grace of God."


Footnote 2:

  Certain disputed points regarding the authorship of the Epistles to
  Timothy and other critical questions connected with these books are
  not pertinent here.


                           THE RHYTHM OF LIFE

In the third chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes occur some verses which
have suggested the subject of this talk. They illustrate a certain
balance or rhythm in nature and in life.

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under

"A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to
pluck up that which is planted;

"A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to

These words are used by the author, not so much to illustrate the rhythm
of life as its monotony. He is not admiring the wonderful harmony which
meets us in nature wherever we turn, so much as he is lamenting that
there is nothing new in nature or in human life. The same things recur
over and over again. The sun rises in the morning only to go down again
in the evening, and the same process will be repeated through endless
to-morrows. "The rivers all run into the sea, yet the sea is not full."
"That which hath been is what shall be." Man is born, laughs and labors
and weeps, and when his little life is ended, dies. This has been the
history of countless multitudes and it will be the history of countless
multitudes to come. There is nothing new under the sun.

Written as this book was at the darkest hour of Hebrew history, at a
time of oppression and unrest, it is a sad book. The writer, a serious
and earnest-minded man, strives nobly to discover light for himself and
his race, but the world looks dark. Yet he is a brave and devout soul,
and his book, so full of stimulus to high endeavor, ought to be read
more widely than it is.

The words I have quoted may well start several different trains of
thought. One of these I will suggest. There is nothing new under the
sun, it is true; but we do not need anything new. The same old things we
have always had are just what we need and shall always need; as
springtime and harvest, day and night, work and rest. In the regular
recurrence of these great and necessary things is found the rhythm of
life in accordance with which we live and must live. May we learn
something from nature's ways that will help us to make our lives strong?
I think so.

Have you ever thought of rhythm in nature? Here there is no monotony,
but constant and beneficent change. Nothing, perhaps, is quite so
blessed as the sunshine, yet eternal day would be almost as bad as
eternal night. How our tired eyes would long for the calm and restful
darkness! We love the springtime and the warm days and the green growing
things; but how much more we love them because they follow cold and
snow, leafless trees and bare earth!

Nowhere do we find the rhythm of nature better illustrated than in our
bodies, these wonderful machines only partially under our control.
Sleeping and waking, the contraction and extension of the muscles, the
inhalation and exhalation of the breath are a few of the many examples.
The most important of all the activities of the body, the systole and
diastole of the heart, Nature keeps within her own control, and gives
alternate work and rest to that vital organ, as if to say that when it
comes to a matter of life and death, man cannot be trusted to his own
keeping. Fortunate it is that this is so, for if it rested with us to
decide when they should work and when rest, some eager, ambitious hearts
would beat themselves to death ere life had well begun.

This polarity in nature is nowhere better stated than in Emerson's essay
on "Compensation":--

"Polarity, or action and reaction, we meet in every part of nature; in
darkness and light; in heat and cold; in the ebb and flow of waters; in
male and female; in the inspiration and expiration of plants and
animals; in the systole and diastole of the heart; in the undulations of
fluids and of sounds; in the centrifugal and centripetal gravity; in
electricity, galvanism and chemical affinity. If the south attracts, the
north repels. To empty here, you must condense there."

What can nature teach us of rhythm that will help us build our lives up
into rounded completion? To begin with, we may learn something of the
relations which should exist between us and our fellow men. The hermit
who withdraws himself from the society of his fellows to live by
himself, even though his purpose may be to commune with nature or with
nature's God, is not living in accordance with God's laws. Man is a
social being and is dependent upon intercourse with other human beings
for his complete development. No one can cut himself off from his fellow
men without damage.

On the other hand, too constant association with others works even
greater harm. Wordsworth felt this when he wrote:--

             "The world is too much with us: late and soon,
             Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
             Little we see in Nature that is ours;
             We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"

We may learn from nature's rhythm of life that we need both society and
solitude. To adjust these to each other in proper degree is a problem
for each of us. Are you one of the unfortunate persons who cannot be
happy for a moment unless in the company of others? If so, you are
preparing an unhappy future. If you find yourself so dull a companion,
how can you expect others to find you interesting? You are not
developing the resources without which no life can be permanently happy.
Give yourself occasionally an opportunity to think your own thoughts, to
question your own heart, and to get acquainted with yourself. You will
be all the better a companion to others for it, and, moreover, you will
be better company for yourself, for you will be led to develop inner
resources. I once heard an Indian Buddhist priest tell of the custom in
his country of requiring each child in a family to spend one hour a day
quietly in a room by himself, "thinking good thoughts." An hour a day so
spent by some young people I know would be helpful in arousing to
greater independence of mind and originality of thought.

Some of us, however, need to make serious effort to acquire the power of
entering easily into cordial relations with others. If you have a
tendency to hold aloof, if you are not at your ease with those with whom
you happen to be thrown, and find it difficult to enter into friendly
relations with them, set yourself earnestly to correct this defect. Such
tendencies allowed to go unchecked are almost sure to result in many
lonely hours.

Meditation without action makes dreamers. Constant activity without
reflection means a loss of the intellectual grasp of things. Jesus,
after a day of the most active ministry, usually sought the loneliness
of the mountains and there found strength for the work of the following
day. So, on one day in seven, our busy, hurrying tasks cease, and we
have a day for rest and worship. Let us do all we can to guard Sunday
against the dangers that threaten it and that would make it exactly like
all other days. To say nothing of its religious uses, the rhythm of life
demands that one day in the week be given to rest and to thoughts and
interests far removed from those of our busy work-days. Some one has
said that Sunday should be _joyous_ (unlike the Sunday of the Puritans),
_different_, that is, different from the other days of the week, and

Not until we have passed out of early youth are we likely to comprehend
the fact that life itself has tidal times. A mood of exaltation is
likely to be followed by one of depression. Life waxes and wanes; it
does not stand still. We learn to take ourselves at our best and to be
patient with ourselves at our worst. When faith and courage are low, we
come to know that soon they will return in all their strength. Doubt of
self and one's powers will be followed by self-confidence. Thus we learn
never to make important decisions or to begin new and weighty
enterprises at ebb tide. There is, in another sense from that which
Shakespeare meant, "a tide in the affairs of men" which should be

Work and play are both essential in the healthy life. We know the result
of "all work and no play." Even good, wholesome, congenial work makes us
dull if it is never relieved and brightened by recreation. Many a
faithful worker has broken down under the strain of unremitting toil,
who might have doubled or trebled his years of usefulness if a little
play could have been mingled with the work.

To one who plays all the time, that is, who has no work in life, play
soon becomes stale and wearisome. After the period of childhood is
passed, when play should be the main business of life, it seems to be an
inexorable law of nature that those who will not work shall not play.
Have you ever visited any of the great winter resorts of the South? If
so you have noticed that they are filled largely with people who have no
pursuit in life except that of having a good time. While the world's
work is being done by others, they lead a butterfly existence. What
wonder that they wear a discontented look! Everywhere they seek for
happiness and wonder why they fail to find the elusive creature. It
would not be difficult to tell them. Those who refuse to do the world's
work are denied a share in its play, and thus does Nature assert the
supremacy of her laws.

No people in the world have so good a time when they play as those who
work hard--if they also know how to play well. Self-denial, waiting, and
anticipation give a zest to pleasure that can come in no other way. In
one of Charles Lamb's essays he speaks of the keen delight which he and
his sister took, during the days when toil was unceasing and income
small, on the rare occasions when they could afford to go to the
theater. The poorest seats amply satisfied their desires, and it seemed
to them that no one in the house was so happy as they. "Could those good
old one-shilling gallery days return, could you and I be once more
struggling up those inconvenient staircases, pushed about and squeezed
and elbowed by the poorest rabble of poor gallery scramblers, I would be
willing to bury more wealth than Croesus had to purchase it."

The woman who gives herself up wholly to a society life never finds
happiness in that life; but let her make something really worth while
her main object, whether it be bringing up a family, writing books, or
working in a settlement, and her social pleasures will then give her
relaxation and delight. It is the student who works hard and who feels
the glow of accomplishment who can put most zest into a game on the
athletic field.

Our country probably has more workers than any other who do not take
enough time to play. It is so easy for our earnest, energetic people to
fall into this habit. Work is sweet and we think we cannot have too much
of it. Sometimes, too, we get an exaggerated idea of our own importance.
We think that if we stop work for a moment all the wheels of progress
will stand still. Never did any people feel the intensity of life as we
Americans of this generation do. We have heard the gospel of efficiency
preached on every hand, but we have not often been told how to maintain
a high level of efficiency for a long period. Those who are efficient,
and at the same time willing, invariably have more put upon them than
they can do. In addition to legitimate work, there is auxiliary work of
various kinds. Committee meetings and other services for the general
good consume for many of us a great deal of time. So we keep chasing
duties and go to bed every night plagued by the host that we have left

Yet, shall we regret that we live in an age of opportunity? If we are
counted among the efficient, who are given a large share of work to do,
shall we be sorry? On the contrary, let us remember that more to be
pitied than any one else is the person who, because he has no work in
life, is obliged to hunt for occupation.

The real trouble is that most of us do not know the secret of
economizing our time and strength. Let us ask what the rhythm of life
demands of us. No one is capable of incessant toil without serious
damage. Our highest good demands that there shall be constant
alternation of labor and rest, or work and play. Some forms of work are
play because they involve different powers of mind and body from our
regular work. Many a scholar has studied until his eyes were dimmed and
his mind dulled only to find that he had himself defeated his own
purpose. Many a business man has given himself no rest until increasing
inefficiency compelled it. It is not the teacher who makes a practice of
working late into the night, with never a moment for play, who makes the
inspiring classroom instructor.

Some one has given this recipe for a happy life: "Work, play, study,
laugh; have a job and a hobby." Play should be regarded as a legitimate
part of the business of life. Duty has been only half performed when
happy recreation has been left out.

The wise student has, all through a hard term's work, preserved the
balance between work and play, society and solitude. Unless she has been
particularly unfortunate she has come to the end of the term only
healthily tired. By that I mean the kind of weariness from which
recuperation is rapid and easy. She has not overdrawn her physical bank
account. She has not run in debt to the future. Beware of any weariness
of which that cannot be said.

The daily life of work and play for all of us ought to be so adjusted
that each day's strength is sufficient for each day's needs. Wherever
the conditions of work and play and of health are right, this is true.
But school life, both for teachers and pupils, involves an unusual
amount of wear and tear on the nervous system, and hence we should be
more careful than others, industrial workers, for example, to see that
this strain never becomes unduly severe. Few teachers or students could
stand fifty weeks of school work in a year, an amount which in many
occupations is accepted as a matter of course. That is the reason we
have so many vacations. When vacation comes, then, let us realize its
need, and its purpose; namely, to restore the balance of body and mind
by allowing the beneficent restorative processes of Nature to do their
work upon us; and let us coöperate heartily with these forces. Some do
not do this, but hinder Nature instead of helping her. Some go home for
a three weeks' vacation and spend the entire time in a whirl of social
dissipation. Ask yourself whether that restores your powers so that you
return to your work with mind and body at their best? We rest, not for
the sake of resting, but that we may work better. Vacations are given to
restore the balance of life, not to destroy it.

And some students carry all their school worries and responsibilities
with them into vacation. They dream of their work by night and think of
it by day. They count up all the lessons that must be learned and all
the themes that must be written, as if there would not be a day in which
to do each day's work. "Take no thought [worry] for the things of the
morrow, for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself."

And yet, when the long summer vacation comes, I wonder if even a young
student is justified in using it _all_ for play. We older people, if we
are doing a work in the world which we consider worth while, take an
entire summer for play but rarely. The reason is that life is too short
for all one wants to learn or to accomplish, and so each long vacation
must see the fulfillment of some of the tasks which we have set for
ourselves. For the student there is a middle ground between working at
school tasks all summer and idling during the entire time. Remember that
a change of occupation is one form of rest. If a portion of each
bountiful summer vacation were spent in learning something quite worth
while, yet different from the ordinary school tasks, work and play would
each profit from the other.

Have you sometimes been disturbed because you did not feel just like
beginning hard work at the close of a vacation? Do not let that trouble
you. I have learned to distrust a vacation at the close of which I find
myself wearing the harness too easily. We get the most out of a vacation
by making it as different as possible from our regular work. The more
different it has been, the more difficult it is to get the mind back
into the usual channels.

When the process of "getting up steam" is over, and we settle down to
steady work after a good vacation, the sensation is one of the most
delightful I know. Here is an opportunity to begin life all over again,
and by retrieving the mistakes of the past, to make the future worthier.
As the weeks stretch out ahead of us, they loom up big with opportunity
and privilege. Start home for your next vacation, then, with a
resolution in your heart that you will so spend it that when it is over,
this new outlook upon life and work shall be yours; for the chief
purpose of a vacation is to restore the rhythm of life.


                          THE USES OF TROUBLE

            "Then, welcome each rebuff
            That turns earth's smoothness rough,
            Each sting that bids not sit nor stand but go!"

You read these familiar words of Browning, but you do not believe them.
There must be trouble in the world, you say. There must be rebuffs and
stings and hardness, and they must be endured; but as to finding good in
such things--why pretend it?

But why talk to young people about trouble? It is well that the mind
should be filled with happiness and hope, yet to ignore the other and
darker side of life does not abolish it. The question of the place of
adversity in life is one that has occupied thinking minds ever since the
world began; and since no one can hope to escape the common lot it is
well to get ready for trouble before it comes. Young people are really
no less interested than their elders in serious subjects. They care for
the deeper things of life and they long to understand them.

One must be very young, indeed, not to have had some hard experience of
one's own, some disappointment or struggle or sorrow. Sometimes these
are troubles that are apparent to all, and our hearts go out in sympathy
and in a yearning desire to comfort. Sometimes they are kept close shut
from others. "The heart knoweth its own bitterness." If you have never
been called to go through deep waters yourself, perhaps you have had to
stand by and suffer in sympathy while some one you loved has done so.

Moreover, youth has its own disappointments, its own griefs and sorrows
to bear, often unguessed by those who are older. Did you believe that
the world was all goodness, and have you suffered the shock that comes
to every sensitive soul upon discovering that it is a very bad as well
as a very good world? How can God be in his heaven and all right with
the world, when there is so much sorrow and suffering and sin? It takes
a long time to think these problems out, and their solution in full
comes only with the "years that bring the philosophic mind." For some it
never comes.

Have you lost faith in some one whom you trusted, and are you therefore
having a struggle lest you lose all faith in human nature? Or do you
distrust yourself and your own powers? While longing with passionate
earnestness to be of use to the world, are you standing on the threshold
of life all uncertain what place there may be for you or whether there
may be any? To all these perplexities often are added religious doubts.
One does not know what one may believe and wonders if one may believe
anything. Many young people, in their process of adjustment to real
life, pass through an experience no less serious than the going down
into the "Everlasting No," described by Carlyle. Many of the interests
and the beliefs of childhood are outgrown, while those of mature manhood
or womanhood have not yet taken their place and the soul seems adrift.
We who are older seldom appreciate either the seriousness or the
sacredness of such experiences in the young. One reason why these are
often so tragic is that youth lacks the perspective for judging them.
There are as yet no long memories. One believes that what is now will
always be. There is no remembrance of the conquest of past difficulties
by which to judge the present.

So much to show that life is not all sunshine even when we are twenty!
But these experiences, tragic as they seem at the time, will, if nobly
lived through, bring their own compensation in truer self-knowledge and
greater depth and earnestness of character. We learn from them, too, the
necessity for readjustment. We learn to adapt ourselves to the real
world in which we find ourselves instead of to the unreal world of our

               "I slept and dreamed that life was beauty;
               I woke and found that life was duty."

This process of readjustment involves the reconciling of the two, the
discovery that the life of duty to which we wake is at the same time the
life of beauty of which we dreamed.

In this process of readjustment, the first thing to learn is that it is
not necessary that we should have everything we want. Indeed, it is not
necessary that we should be happy. As soon as we recognize that fact we
are on the way to happiness. How many spoiled children of indulgent
parents there are who do not learn this except through some unhappy
experience! How many such have I watched with interest and sympathy when
the idea first dawned upon their minds that, perhaps, after all, life
was not going to bring them everything they demanded! Their pitifully
narrow and selfish ideas must be uprooted and broad and generous ideas
must take their place before even a beginning will have been made toward
a fruitful life. In a world where none of us can have just what we want,
where no life is ever carried out exactly as planned, and where any day
may rob us of what we have cherished most, it behooves us to form early
in life the habit of making the most of whatever comes our way. Of
nothing is this more true than of those things we do not welcome, that
seem hard and forbidding. Usually they are not what they seem, but are
friends in disguise, as Browning tells us.

There are many kinds of trouble, and, of course, some kinds are harder
to bear than others. Hardships and rebuffs might rank as the easiest.
Loss of money or material possessions is not as serious as at first it
seems. Grief is much more difficult to bear. Yet of whatever kind or
degree the adversities of life, it is probable that each, as Shakespeare
puts it, wears a precious jewel in its head.

There are several ways of meeting trouble. One wrong way is to regard it
in a spirit of rebellion, and by constant brooding over what might have
been, to allow it to embitter and spoil life. We have all known people
who went through life meeting trouble in this way.

Another and a better way to meet trouble is with stoical resignation.
This does undoubtedly bring strength, but it does not bring sweetness.
One has not really gained the victory unless he goes further.

There is something better than to quarrel with trouble and there is
something better than merely to endure it, and that is to compel it,
before we are through with it, to do us good, even as Jacob wrested a
blessing from the angel. It is natural to think that our troubles only
restrict and limit; but we may find even in the most overwhelming
disaster that which enriches life. That is the reason it so often
happens that one who has known the depths of sorrow is a tower of
strength upon whom others may lean, or a well of comfort and inspiration
from which they may draw. Nothing has yet been discovered so good for
the development of character as struggle. Deep human sympathy and the
power to enter into the sorrows of others are born of suffering.

Have you not known some wealthy family whose riches suddenly took wings,
to the enormous gain of every one of its members? Sons, whose lives of
luxurious ease were rapidly hurrying them along the road to ruin are now
forced to become self-supporting and thus acquire those manly virtues
which before had been wanting. Daughters, obliged to shoulder some of
the responsibilities of life and plan for others instead of for their
own selfish pleasure, are made strong and womanly.

To be stricken by an incurable disease would seem to be the worst
misfortune that could befall any human being. Yet, if so, why is it that
invalids are so often the sunniest, most serene, most stimulating
persons we know? I have chanced to be acquainted with several such in my
life to whom I would go if in need of a word of encouragement or
inspiration. All the disappointment in the failure of life's plans, all
the suffering and pain have been transmuted into character. If, after
all, the chief purpose of life is the making of character, we need not
be so concerned over the means. It is for us to take the material
provided, and with the means given to accomplish a worthy result. "Life
is the raw material," says Goethe, "and man the artist who is to shape
it into a thing of beauty."

I know a lady who lost in quick succession all her children. She might
have become hard and bitter, crying out against the injustice that took
her children while other happy mothers are surrounded by their little
ones. Instead she became an angel of mercy to all the needy children
within her reach. By her efficient work for pure-milk laws, better
sanitary conditions, vacation playgrounds, and free kindergartens, she
doubtless prevented many other mothers from having to mourn as she
mourned. She is gentler, kindlier, more loving, more unselfish than
before her great sorrow came to her, and her life is probably of much
more value to the world than it would have been otherwise. She
transmuted her sorrow into unselfish service. "When He hath tried me I
shall come forth as gold."

Why trouble comes to us and why it comes in the forms it does, he must
be a very wise person who presumes to say. One of the world-poets of old
wrote a great poem upon the problem of suffering. Yet Job did not find
out why God sent trouble to him, though he learned that it was not sent
as a punishment. He also learned what his attitude should be toward it
and in what spirit he should bear it. And for us, too, it is far more
important that we should meet trouble in the right way than that we
should know why it comes. Are you carrying some burden or bearing some
cross that often seems too heavy? And do you sometimes feel rebellious
about it and contrast your lot with that of some one who has no such
cross to bear? That is unworthy of your best self, as you well know. It
is for you to see to it that this trouble, whatever it may be, not only
does not spoil your character and your life, but that it enriches both.
It is, perhaps, the best means you will ever have to acquire certain
qualities which you need and which, perhaps, you greatly admire in
others. By this trial you are being tested. By the way you endure it
will all your future life be determined. It is your part to become, not
in spite of this burden, but because of it, a larger person than you
were before.

An insight into some of the immutable laws of life helps us to endure
hard things. No law is probably more steadfast than the law of
compensation, as Emerson clearly shows us in his remarkable essay on
that subject, an essay which should be read by every young person who is
trying to formulate a philosophy of life. "For everything you miss you
gain something else, and for everything you gain you lose something."
When you are obliged to give up some cherished project or dear ambition,
try to discover what you received in its place.

Perhaps you long to be a musician, an artist, or a scholar, and perhaps
certain duties and obligations life has created for you prevent the
fulfillment of this cherished dream. Then find your self-realization in
those things which are permitted you. "What we need is not so much to
realize the ideal as to idealize the real." Nothing so rapidly develops
character in a young person as the shouldering of responsibility. While
one of your friends may have been perfecting herself in music or art, or
broadening herself by foreign travel, you have been carrying heavy
burdens for others. Has it, therefore, been all loss to you and all gain
to her? Far from it. Instead, she has gained one thing, you another.
Most of us do not receive more than our share in life. You will be
surprised if you look about you to discover how true this is. Apply the
test to your friends and acquaintances one by one, and you will see that
the advantages of each are more or less counterbalanced by the
disadvantages, so that things are by no means so unjustly arranged as it
would at first seem.

Another thought that may help us to adjust ourselves to the hard things
in our lives is that it takes some losses, some disappointments and
sorrows to make us appreciate the good things that we have. Youth is
wasteful, not realizing its riches. It always remains true that what we
do not realize does not exist, for us. A part of the law of compensation
is that the more we lose, the more highly we prize what is left. That,
perhaps, is the greatest compensation for growing older. Though the
relentless years have taken away much to which we clung with tenacity,
yet, somehow, we have come to place so high a valuation upon what
remains that we often grow happier in spite of persistent and increasing
losses. In the old story of the Sibylline Books, there is a thought of
very wide application.

How little do we know which paths lead to happiness and success! We are
sure, however, that we do know and rebel at the least deviation from the
road we had marked out. Yet again and again a Power wiser than ourselves
changes the direction of the path, and compels us to travel a different
and unwelcome way. Afterward, looking back, we often realize that the
best things life has brought us have come along that road of the defeat
of cherished plans. These words of Emerson should be taken to heart by
every young person who is having a severe struggle or who is passing
through fiery trials:--

"We cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not
know that they only go out, that archangels may come in. A fever, a
mutilation, a cruel disappointment, a loss of wealth, a loss of friends,
seems at the moment unpaid loss, and unpayable. But the sure years
reveal the deep remedial force that underlies all facts. The death of a
dear friend, wife, brother, lover, which seemed nothing but privation,
somewhat later assumes the aspect of a guide or genius; for it commonly
operates revolutions in our way of life, terminates an epoch of infancy
or of youth which was waiting to be closed, breaks up a wonted
occupation, or a household, or style of living, and allows the formation
of new ones more friendly to the growth of character. It permits or
constrains the formation of new acquaintances, and the reception of new
influences that prove of the first importance to the next years; and the
man or woman who would have remained a sunny garden-flower, with no room
for its roots and too much sunshine for its head, by the falling of the
walls and the neglect of the gardener is made the banyan of the forest,
yielding shade and fruit to wide neighborhoods of men."


                             SCHOOL SPIRIT

Among the forces which shape young men and women in our educational
institutions, none is more potent than that indefinable, intangible,
powerful thing we call school spirit, or college spirit, as the case may
be. Students are often mistaken in the expression of it, but the spirit
is right, though the expression may be wrong. School spirit always
represents an unselfish attitude of the student. He has heard the call
of something larger than himself.

Though school spirit may be only a sentiment, it is that which gives its
deepest richness to the life of a good school. It belongs to an epoch in
the life of the student that can never be repeated and never forgotten.
It is the source, not only of much of the truest happiness of the
precious school days, but of stimulus to high endeavor.

While there are many day schools that have a fine and strong school
spirit, it reaches its height only in those schools and colleges where
the students live a common corporate life, away from their homes and
other influences which tend to separate them instead of unite them. Such
communities foster the closeness and intimacy necessary to that complete
solidarity essential for strong school spirit.

Many things operate to draw the members of a student body together. The
games and sports, the fun and frolic, are shared by all. The work, if
not the same, is done under the same conditions. All inherit the common
school traditions and the same ideals of life are put before all. These
things tend to eliminate distinctions and to make for democracy. In
short, they foster school spirit.

The life of a corporate group is something different from the lives of
the individuals who compose it. The members of such a group act and
react upon one another. Their impulses and emotions, their words and
even their deeds take different tone and shape when in the midst of
numbers of others similarly circumstanced. There is a latent fire in the
soul which is fanned to flame by the contact of life with life. This
infection of nature by nature operates for evil as well as for good. Its
harmful influence is seen at its worst in what is called mob spirit or
mob rule. The mob may be guilty of deeds which not a single individual
in it would countenance if left to himself.

By the mere fact of your coming together, then, surrounded by the same
influences, under the spell of the same traditions and ideals, you
create an element of life which did not exist before and which reacts
powerfully upon every one of you. This is of the greatest importance in
the growth of character, especially in these formative years. If you are
ever to come to complete self-realization, you must breathe the
atmosphere of pure and wholesome social influences. You should ask
yourself, then, concerning the joint social life which you are living
from day to day, what you are gathering from it and what you are
contributing to it.

As I stood once in the chapel of Eton College, England, I noticed upon
the walls certain scrolls and tablets containing hundreds of names in
letters of gold. These were the names of graduates of Eton who had in
after years brought distinction to their college. I noticed the same
family names, recurring over and over again, and I was told that these
same names are still upon the school rolls. I could not help asking
myself, How can any young man who enters Eton, bearing one of these
honored names, be anything but his best self? His family, his school,
his country expect it. Perhaps that is one reason he so often _is_ his
best and that the same families generation after generation have so
large a share of good and great men. And I thought, too, what a
stimulus there must be in the very atmosphere of that splendid,
five-hundred-year-old school, to spur these young men on to their
highest endeavor! They were honored in being members of Eton and they in
turn must honor Eton.

In this country we have no schools as old as Eton; yet all good schools
have their fine traditions. The true-hearted service of noble lives has
gone into the making of them. Of all such schools it may be said that
among their sons or daughters are those who have loved their _Alma
Mater_ so well that being a credit to her they have counted among their
chief aims in life. Only the student who is moved by such motives as
these has the true school spirit. Such a student longs that his school
shall be stamped with the stamp of true worthiness.

I suppose the most evident, certainly the most picturesque, exhibition
of school spirit is to be seen in connection with athletics, and it
reaches its climax in an inter-school game. The authorities of some
schools say frankly that they permit such games, with their interruption
of serious work and other disadvantages, chiefly because they tend to
develop school spirit and school loyalty. Athletic contests are good,
for they give training in self-subordination, self-control, alertness,
and dogged perseverance. The individual loses himself in the good of the
whole. This makes for character and good citizenship. We must not
underestimate the value of the enthusiasm which comes from rallying
against a common antagonist. When the rivalry is good-natured and every
rule of fair play is observed, the effect is wholesome.

Yet it is not always the student who cheers most loudly for the team and
who is most carried away by school spirit on public occasions who is at
heart most loyal to the school. There is a greater loyalty even than
that generous spirit which prompts one to rejoice in victory. It is the
desire that one's school shall stand only for that which is right. It is
the determination that it shall be respected, and still more, that it
shall be worthy of respect.

Now, the first and most obvious thing about any school is that it is an
educational institution, and as such it must stand or fall. If a school
is an educational failure, what avails its success in some subordinate
thing? No one can take pride in an easy-going school to which any one
can gain admission, and in which any one can remain, regardless of
attainment. Students are not likely to think of this aspect of the case
when they neglect their studies. They think the matter wholly personal
and believe that only they are the sufferers. It is not so. By slack,
indifferent work you are lowering the standard of your school, and you
are thus disloyal. By your act you say that you do not care to have your
school respected. This shows a lack of a sense of indebtedness on your
part to the corporate group of which you are a member. It means a
failure to apply school spirit where it was most needed. It is easier to
sing and cheer on some moving occasion, but which does your school need
more at your hands?

What I have said about upholding the intellectual standards of the
school applies equally to its standards in other matters. By your dress,
by your manners, by your behavior you indicate, wherever you go, the
character of your school. You are its product. The world does not stop
to ask what is going on inside of a school or what its influences are.
The world judges a school by its results. If you want your school to be
respected you cannot be too careful to represent it worthily at all
times and in all places.

You come to school to get knowledge, but it would be a pity if that were
all you were to get. A young man and a young woman, each of whom had
been out of college several years, were discussing the advantages of a
college education. One said to the other, "Looking back over your
college days, what do you now regard as the most valuable thing you got
out of college?" "Inspiration," promptly came the answer; and both were
agreed upon this.

School days deal with an earlier period of life than the college age,
when the student is usually more susceptible to strong influences. The
school that first gave you the determination to do something worth while
in the world, the school that called forth your best self and set your
heart on fire with a noble purpose, has a claim upon you that you can
never forget.

Every school that has this transforming power is what it is by virtue of
the personalities that have been connected with it. Ask yourself what
you are doing to make your school in the future as inspiring a place for
others as others have made it for you. Ask yourself what you can
contribute to the enrichment of the life of your school. Be not
over-anxious about what you shall receive.

Students rarely realize how much they leave behind them when they depart
from a school. Something of you remains, mysteriously interwoven in the
life of the school. "I am a part of all that I have met," says
Tennyson's Ulysses. Just as you embody in yourself the influences that
hundreds of other lives have exerted upon you, so others are bearing and
will always bear the marks of your influence.

To be a worthy member of a good school is a great privilege, furnishing
as it does a stimulus to high endeavor which rarely comes in any other
way. It is a distinct honor to sustain and enhance a worthy name. If you
have the right school spirit, you can do nothing less than throw all the
power of your influence into the task of making your school a place
where future students may learn how to meet and be true to the
responsibilities and obligations of life. The atmosphere which makes
easy this kind of growth is created only by living personalities, by the
touch of life upon life.


                       MAKING THE BEST OF THINGS

I have noticed that many people who seem to the casual observer to be
favorites of fortune, having no large and serious troubles to worry
about, so magnify their small ones that life loses much of its joy. Most
men and women who rebel at their lot in life fancy that their discontent
lies in the deprivation of some definite thing. Had it not been for this
or that unfavorable condition, their lives would have been happy and
successful. One possesses too small a share of this world's goods and
continually allows his thoughts to dwell upon what he might have had or
might have done if he had been blessed with wealth. He forgets to
appreciate and to be grateful for health, family, friends, and a host of
other blessings. He has the lurking feeling that wealth is the one thing
which would have made his life happy, in spite of the fact that he knows
that it has not brought happiness to many who possess it. So he settles
down to a discontented, second-rate life.

With another, it is a lack of robust health that causes discontent. Such
a person forgets that much of the best work of the world has been
accomplished by men of frail health, as, for instance, Darwin and
Herbert Spencer. Another finds a source of unhappiness in his
environment in life, or in a lack of particular advantages and
opportunities. He is sure that he might have become an artist or a
musician or a scholar had not Fate been so unkind as to deprive him of
opportunity. Yet we have but to point to scores of persons who have won
the highest success in these fields in spite of seemingly insurmountable

Some women are unhappy because they cannot obtain the position in
society for which they believe themselves fitted; others crave luxury
and ease denied them. Many women long to exchange their idleness for a
work in life. As to work, it sometimes seems as if half the workers of
the world are envying the other half their particular field of labor.
Each sees the advantages of the other's task, but not its disadvantages.
The laboring man envies the business or professional man the supposed
ease of his work and its larger returns. The business or professional
man often looks with envy upon the day laborer, because of his freedom
from care and the simplicity of his life. And so each looks over the
edge of his work, discontented, to that of his neighbor. How seldom are
we willing to admit that the cause of our discontent lies within

It is true that there is a discontent which is right. It is discontent
with what we _are_ and it is born of aspiration. One who feels this
divine discontent well knows that his life has not been as fruitful as
it should have been, and he is determined that the future shall redeem,
as far as possible, the inadequacy of the past. He says with Whittier:--

                       "I better know than all
                       How little I have gained,
                       How vast the unattained!"

If ever we find ourselves satisfied with our attainments it simply means
that we have a very low standard of success. Some one has said, "One
should never believe that he has succeeded, but always that he is going
to succeed."

To be discontented with what we have, that is, with our possessions and
our circumstances, is a very different matter. Either we can change them
or we cannot. If we can and do not, we have only ourselves to blame. But
what shall be said regarding those unfavorable outward circumstances of
your life to which you must submit? Simply this: If you cannot have what
you like, _learn to like what you have_. Resolve that no unfavorable
conditions shall be powerful enough to defeat you and spoil your life.
Master your circumstances instead of letting them master you. To master
circumstances does not necessarily mean to change them. Sometimes it
means merely to change our attitude toward them, so that they may become
a source of strength instead of weakness. There is always much that a
wise and energetic person can do to change the conditions of his life,
yet there will be left in every life certain things that cannot be
altered. The real test of our character is our attitude toward these

There is nothing more certain than that if you are going to accomplish
anything in life you must use the vantage-ground you have, not the
better vantage-ground of another, which is not yours. Do not explain
what you would have done if you had had this one's or that one's
opportunity. You will be tested by the use you make of the opportunities
that have been given to _you_.

It is sometimes pointed out that too many college girls, returning to
their homes after graduation, lead restless, discontented lives. The
college is often blamed for this, but most unjustly. The difficulty may
be with the girl herself, but I believe it is just as often with her
family and friends, who expect impossible things of her. Too often an
active, ambitious girl is forced to settle down into a life of
comparative uselessness. The inspiration of her college years is still
strong upon her. All the powers of heart, mind, and soul have been
awakened. She has gained a wide outlook, and the needs of this very
needy world have been brought home to her sympathetic heart. She feels
within her the power to do something which will count in making the
world a better place. To be a mere household ornament does not seem to
her adequate. Too frequently there is the strongest objection to her
taking up any definite work. She is expected to be happy in comparative
idleness and without the stimulus that always comes from feeling that
one's life is counting for something. Some of the discontent of the
educated young woman who has not yet found her place in life may be
traced to these causes.

Yet sometimes her discontent has its root in herself, and is due to a
lack of adaptation. Many a young woman who leaves school or college with
dreams of an inspiring and useful work in the world finds herself
obliged to remain at home because of family necessity. She may even have
to live in a place apparently devoid of interest, amid surroundings that
seem commonplace, with no stimulating or congenial companionship.
Sometime you may find yourself in exactly that position. What will you
do about it? Will you adopt a course that will not only make those about
you miserable, but will dwarf and narrow your own life? Or can you be
brave and strong enough to follow the path that will enlarge and
beautify your life as well as bring good to others? If you are in doubt
what to do, ask yourself what an Alice Freeman Palmer would have done
with those meager surroundings, those narrow opportunities and
uninspiring duties. You know the answer. A great soul like hers would
have created its own atmosphere and soon the desert would have blossomed
as the rose. She would have seen possibilities in the dreariest
situation. She would have found work to do in the smallest and most
uninteresting community. Wherever there is a community there is work to
be done--little children to be guided into right ways, the sick to be
visited, the discouraged to be cheered. Wherever you find a church,
there is an opportunity for service. Who ever heard of a church that had
workers enough? Wherever there is a city, town, or village, there is
work to be done in the direction of civic betterment.

Is your life restricted by certain responsibilities not of your own
choosing, yet from which you cannot honorably escape--nay, would not
escape? Do you long for freedom, for the power to carve out your own
destiny in your own way? How swiftly you would move forward if you could
tread the path of your own choosing! Do not think that you are unusual
in this longing. It is difficult to be reconciled to the limitations
placed upon us. Those of whom you are most envious are probably in their
turn envying others who have not their particular limitations. Some of
them may be envying you. A lesson which we should all learn as early as
possible is that the restrictions of our lives often point the way to
largeness. Whenever we find ourselves indulging in self-pity because of
the limitations under which we labor, it will be well to call to mind
some of the many splendid and fruitful lives that have attained to
strength and power in spite of restrictions far more severe, or rather
partly because of them: Lincoln, gaining a meager knowledge of books by
the light of a pine knot; Darwin, doing his life-work in the face of
physical disabilities that would have made useless invalids of most of
us; Helen Keller, denied all the most important avenues of communication
with the outside world, yet achieving results that would put most of us
to shame; Louisa M. Alcott, writing her charming stories in the midst of
arduous toil and pathetic privations endured for the sake of her loved
ones; and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, learning from suffering what she
told the world in song. History is full of these examples, and the
future will be just as rich in such lives as the past has been. Those
who are to be the leaders of the next generation are even now, many of
them, having a severe struggle with adverse circumstances.

Just as we should make the best of the things about us and of the
circumstances of our lives, so we should make the best of the people
about us. Must you live apart from the friends whose society is most
congenial to you? Again, if you cannot have about you the people you
like, then like the people you have about you. It is astonishing how
much progress can be made when one starts out with resolution in this
direction. Try it and you will be amazed at discovering likable
qualities in those with whom you supposed you had little in common.

And just as you are to make the best of other people, so you should
learn to make the best of yourself. By this I do not mean make the
_most_ of yourself. It goes without saying that one should do that. Many
a person who is successful in matching himself against outward obstacles
feels discouraged when he faces his own nature and recognizes the return
of faults which he hoped he had overcome. No struggle is so severe as
that which one wages with himself. Sometimes we become disheartened at
our failure to conquer faults and to overcome wrong tendencies. When it
is a question of right and wrong, there is no course open to us but to
continue to wage the battle. No compromise with wrong is possible.

Yet there are other limitations which should be regarded in a different
light. Perhaps we have overestimated our capacity and have expected the
impossible of ourselves. Paris is full of discouraged artists who had
looked forward to a noteworthy career that never can be realized. Every
publisher of books has some comprehension of the enormous number of
would-be authors there are of whom the world will never hear. Ambition
is good, but disappointed ambition too often embitters life. Most of us
have some limitations which cannot be removed. Certain of these
limitations it is well to accept and not beat one's wings forever
against the bars.

Others may surpass you because of greater natural endowments or larger
opportunity, or both, but this should not move you from the even tenor
of your way. No less faulty than the complacent, self-satisfied life is
the life spoiled because of unfulfilled ambitions. We should accept
ourselves, with the limitations that cannot be removed, and go about it
to make, with the material at hand, the most successful life possible.
The highest of all attainments, the living of a successful life, depends
not upon outward circumstances, not upon opportunities, not upon freedom
from annoyances or even from trials and sorrows. In the last analysis it
depends upon one's power to make the best and the most of those things
which belong to his portion. If one can do that, life has no terrors for
him. No misfortune or disappointment can prevail against him or disturb
the serenity of his soul. He can say with Henley:--

               "It matters not how strait the gate,
                 How charged with punishments the scroll,
               I am the master of my fate:
                 I am the captain of my soul."


                         CONFLICTING LOYALTIES

Some of the saddest yet most common tragedies enacted in life about us
have their source in the conflict between duty to self and duty to
others. Is it because of our innate selfishness that so many sermons
need to be preached to us about our duty to others? Perhaps it is
thought that duty to self is so natural that we do not need a great deal
of urging or warning in that direction. At any rate, we hear much less
about our duty to ourselves than about our duty to others. It is
therefore not strange that some generous and over-conscientious souls
should come to feel that when a conflict arises between these two kinds
of duties, self should always sink out of sight. This, however, is not a
reasonable view. While the words, "He who saveth his life shall lose
it," are among the greatest ever uttered, yet we must remember that He
who spake them gave us also the Parable of the Talents, and was wroth
with the man who took his one talent and hid it in the earth.

Many an earnest seeker after right is led to protest against a view of
duty so one-sided. When one is urged to surrender self, to lose self, to
care naught what becomes of self, one is led to cry, "But am _I_ of no
worth? Has God not given me certain responsibilities with regard to my
own life, and have I not the solemn duty of rendering back the talent
given me, increased as many-fold as possible?"

The answer to these questions is unmistakable. My responsibility for
myself is one that no other can assume. St. Paul states clearly one of
the best reasons why we have no right to ignore self. "For every man
must bear his own burden." If we cannot bear our own burdens, others
must bear them for us. But it is expected that we shall do more than
carry our own load; for in the same chapter we are commanded, "Bear ye
one another's burdens." The inconsistency is only apparent, not real.

That self is not something to be effaced and trodden under whenever
possible seems to be proved by the testimony of language. Let us examine
a few of the derivatives of the word "self." While some of these words
suggest self-effacement, others speak in no uncertain tones of the
dignity and worth of self.

_Self-centered_ is a term of reproach, but _self-reliance_ is a duty.
_Self-seeking_ is base, but _self-possession_ is commendable.
_Self-complacency_ and _self-esteem_ we despise, but _self-control_ and
_self-confidence_ are admired. Who can respect any one who is lacking in
_self-respect_? _Self-sacrifice_ is a word that brings a glow or a
thrill to the heart perhaps beyond any other; yet _self-preservation_ is
sometimes one's highest duty.

Evidently, then, it is your duty to efface yourself and to assert
yourself; to humble yourself and to respect yourself; to sacrifice
yourself and to preserve yourself. At any rate, it seems clear that self
is of importance and that we cannot be complete persons without somehow
regarding self.

For centuries philosophers have puzzled or disputed over the definition
of selfishness. Where shall we draw the line between obligation to self
and obligation to others? Jeremy Bentham, the English philosopher, went
so far as to say, "Dream not that man will lift his little finger except
for his own advantage." If he means that every one always seeks his own
personal advantage, as he seems to, he is absurdly wrong. For proof of
it you need look no further than the first mother you meet who is
spending herself lavishly for her child. If he means that each one
really does what he most wants to do, he is right. I once knew a girl
who had a delightful habit of spending most of her allowance on others
rather than on herself. No good cause that needed help ever appealed to
her in vain. She was continually seeking out individual needs which she
could remedy. When praise was bestowed upon one of her unselfish acts, a
schoolmate remarked, "Oh, that isn't unselfishness. She really _likes_
to use her money that way." Yes, she does, but it is unselfishness none
the less. Her strongest inclinations lead her in a direction not easily
understood by those who have had little practice in unselfish acts. But
to call her conduct selfish is like calling white black, or light

The conflict between duty to self and duty to others is at times only
apparent; again, it is painfully real. To determine what is an apparent
conflict and what a real is one of the difficult problems we have to
solve. It is surprising how little help others, as a rule, can give us
in its solution; in fact, this is one of the situations in life where we
must stand alone--must make our own decisions and bear the
responsibility for them. To try to follow the judgment of others often
results only in bewilderment.

Should a young man or woman accept an education to be paid for by money
toilsomely earned by self-sacrificing parents? We cannot tell until we
know all the circumstances. What would be base selfishness in one case
becomes in another a sacred duty. Should the daughter whose presence
gives cheer leave the home for a larger sphere of usefulness? Should the
widowed mother wear herself out and fill an early grave in order that
her children may have the advantages which will make them intelligent
and useful men and women? Should the physician sacrifice his life in
order that the devastating scourge may give up its secret and other
lives be saved? To what extent is it your duty to imperil your health or
your life for the needs of others? There is not one of us who does not
sometimes meet with such questions as these. As to minor questions
involving the same principles, we encounter them every day.

Just here I wish to point out certain frequent fallacies regarding our
duties and obligations. The first is, that if you greatly desire to do
or to have a thing, it would therefore be selfish for you to do it or to
have it. The ascetics of the Middle Ages acted on this assumption. They
practiced self-denial for the sake of self-denial, without any larger
aim. The ascetic sacrifices himself for nothing. I have known people who
seemed to direct their lives in accordance with the same theory. (They
were always women!) I once had a friend who did so. As soon as she found
that she had quite set her heart upon anything, she promptly gave it up.
If there was something she did not want to do, she was sure to do it,
for it must be her duty. I need not point out the unintelligence of this
procedure. To live with her was almost necessarily to grow selfish. Did
you ever think of the bad result upon a family of having one unwisely
unselfish member? Such a person unconsciously develops selfishness in
the others. Excessive unselfishness defeats itself. It does not even
benefit those for whom the sacrifice is made, but injures them instead.
Thus foolish mothers spoil their children, wives ruin their husbands,
sisters destroy the character of their brothers, and brothers even have
been known to pet and humor their sisters into egregious selfishness.

It is evident, then, that duties to self and duties to others are
inextricably interwoven. The thing which you want may be best for you,
and may serve the interests of others as well as yourself. Securing an
education, for example, may double or treble your usefulness, not only
to the world in general, but to those individuals who made the sacrifice
in order that you might have it.

Self-sacrifice is noble, but if it is to be worthy self-sacrifice, the
end must be worthy. Nothing could be finer, for example, than to risk
one's life for another human being in danger, but we have only contempt
for the man who imperils his life for no worthy end. That end must
always be a _larger self_, and we shall respect the person in proportion
to the worth of the larger self. The family is a larger self, so is
one's school, church, city. The soldier in obeying the call of his
country is serving a still larger self, and this call rarely falls on
deaf ears. When the interests of the individual come into conflict with
the interests of the larger unit, the individual's interests must give
way. Sometime all good and intelligent people will realize what only the
few see now, that there is a larger self even than country, and that is,
humanity. When that time comes, nation can no more be arrayed against
nation in the terrors of war. There should be no conflict between
loyalty to country and loyalty to humanity, and the tragedy of war is
that there is such a conflict.

There are many kinds of sacrifice besides the sacrifice of life. The
sacrifice of material things is of no great moment, for they are not a
part of ourselves. The greatest sacrifice we can make, next to that of
life itself, is the sacrifice of our own growth. Deliberately to remain
small, for the sake of duty, when we might have been large, requires all
the heroism of which most of us are capable. Such a sacrifice has been
made times without number by parents for their children and by sons or
daughters for the sake of parents dependent upon them. It has been made
by martyrs for their religion, by patriots for their country. It has
been made by teachers for their pupils and by doctors and nurses for
their patients. If we sacrifice our own larger growth and highest
self-realization,--and it is sometimes necessary,--let us see to it that
the end we aim to accomplish justifies the damage to ourselves. It is to
be feared that such a sacrifice is often made without due consideration
of relative values. The young man or woman who gives up an education for
the sake of rendering service to others should make sure that the end
aimed at is one of superlative worth. The mother whom I knew, who
refused to allow her daughter to carry out her cherished plan of going
to college, simply because she did not want to give up her daughter's
companionship for four years, was an example of pitiable and
short-sighted selfishness. The sacrifice she demanded was not justified
because it was for no worthy end.

Often a great sacrifice of self now will mean that one will have little
to give by and by, when the need may perhaps be larger. The self you
have to give now is small. Why not make it larger before any complete
self-surrender? We cannot give unless we have something to give. "If you
would be a great giver," says one of our philosophers, "you must first
be a great person." You dream of enriching the world with your life.
Then make it a rich life.

A second fallacy often held is that obligations for which one is not
likely to be called to account until the distant future are less binding
than those which make their claim felt now. None of us acknowledge that
we so regard duty; but if we do not, it is difficult to account for some
of our actions. For the sake of fashion or of vanity modes of dress are
often followed which are bound to result in impairment of health. Wrong
habits of eating injure the digestion, late hours drain the vitality.
Thus we buy present gratification at the cost of our future welfare. To
no other class of persons is it as important to say this as to girls.
Many a girl acts as if she believed that she would have no use for any
health or strength after she was thirty years old, and so were willing
to squander all she had in a few months or years. She should remember
that she will need at least as much each year of her threescore and ten
as she does this year. There will be people in the future to whom she
will owe obligation, just as there are now, some of whom are yet unborn.
When we are inclined to overwork, the same arguments should apply. Why
spend one's self in a single effort? Why not take account of the work
that must be done in future years? I have known short-sighted young
people who spent their entire capital of health in getting an education,
only to live thenceforth lives of impaired usefulness.

One of the questions which the most conscientious of us must constantly
ask ourselves is to what extent we should share whatever material
possessions we may have with those less fortunate than ourselves. The
needy are all about us and the claims of suffering humanity are
insistent. The call must not fall on deaf ears. For some this call has
seemed so imperative as to make them surrender all they had for the sake
of alleviating distress or of making life more worth while for a few of
their fellow beings. Too many go to the other extreme and admit no
obligation to their fellow men.

Here are some questions in social ethics for you to ask yourself: Have I
a right to live in a fine house, to have expensive clothing, and to
spend money on travel and other pleasures when there are so many people
in the world suffering for the necessities of life? To my mind the
answer is, I have a right to spend money on myself only so far as it
will make me a person of greater value to the world. If I should give
away everything I have to those whose need is greater than mine, and
live in a hovel, only a few out of the vast number of the needy would be
benefited and I should be unfitted to accomplish the work in life which
I am in duty bound to accomplish. What shall we say, however, of those
who all through life are consumers and not producers, who add nothing to
the world, but continually take from it? What further shall we say, if,
in addition to being a non-producer, one is wasteful of that which has
been produced by others, using it for self-indulgence and selfish
pleasure? I have a friend who was once criticized for her simple and
inexpensive clothing. Her reply was, "How can I spend much money for
clothes when there are so many young people in the world suffering for
an education?"

It seems to me, then, that loyalty to self demands that we should regard
self as nearly as possible in an impersonal way. We must not ask for
more than our share, yet we should take our portion just as we should
expect another to do, not for our own pleasure or selfish ambition, but
in order that we may be able to render the largest possible service to
our day and generation. By these questions test every benefit you seek
for yourself and especially every luxury that tempts you: Have I a
_right_ to this benefit or this luxury? That is, can I take it and at
the same time be just to others? If the answer is in the affirmative, a
further question should be asked: Will it help me to become a more
valuable person? If the answer is in the negative, then, even though you
have a right to it, your larger privilege is to surrender that right.


                        THE VALUE OF DISCIPLINE

One of the most frequent and least satisfactory answers given to
students in reply to the question _why_ a certain subject must be
studied, or a given course of conduct pursued, is, "It is good
discipline." That statement is probably true, but it is sometimes
difficult for the questioner to understand. He asks, What is discipline?
And why has it the virtue claimed for it?

By discipline I suppose we mean the subordination of the self to
something outside of the self, or, at least, the subordination of the
self to law, even though that law be self-made. The psychologist could
explain to you that the law of habit is the controlling factor in all
discipline. The thing that has been done many times is finally done with
ease, is perhaps done automatically. Ease, as some one has said, is the
lovely result of forgotten toil. The laws that apply in learning to play
the piano or to ride a bicycle are not different from those involved in
the training of the intellect or the will.

It is not necessary to point out the very evident truth, that no school
could command the respect of its students for a single day if it had no
discipline. Whether the regulations are made by the students themselves
or by a higher power, there must not only be subordination of the whims
and caprices of each student to his own higher interests, but there must
be subordination of the will of each individual to the common good. No
school community could furnish the proper conditions for growth whose
members did exactly as they pleased unless each pleased to consider the
rights of others as sacred as his own. Whether from alien compulsion or
from some inner law, each must make his contribution to the welfare of
the whole. The result is system and order that enables each to go his
way, free to put forth his best effort. Each member of the community
must give up a portion of his own freedom for the common good, that
common good being for him a much larger freedom. Students sometimes
think too much about the freedom they surrender and not enough about the
benefits that surrender secures.

Perhaps you have sometimes for the moment grown a little restive under
discipline--who of us has not?--and have longed for the time when you
could do just as you please. There are, doubtless, times when even the
most faithful student longs to "play truant." Yet holding one's self to
definite and stated tasks is the surest road to the largest freedom.

As there is no royal road to learning, so, also, there is none to mental
insight and acumen. You must think, compare, reason, remember. You must
learn accuracy and precision. When the facts more or less laboriously
acquired in school and college have been for the most part forgotten,
the mind, if it has been really disciplined, still retains the power of
grappling with new problems and solving them. This power is worth all it
costs. The value it adds to life can hardly be overestimated. It gives
an independence and a mastery over things that can be gained in no other
way. It is the means of providing resources that make life vastly more
worth living. It increases one's usefulness to the world many-fold. Such
mental training may be had, too, by most of us if we are willing to pay
the price. The majority of people, however, are not willing to do that,
and therefore those who are generally find themselves in positions of

The training of the will is just as important as the training of the
intellect; nay, more important, since thought is powerless until put
into action. Essential as it is that the average citizen should be a
trained thinker, even more so is it that he be a person of right action.
Yet the two kinds of training need not be set over against each other as
if one needed to choose between them. They should go hand in hand.

It is difficult to say which is the source of greater danger in a
community, the weak and nerveless will, or the strong but perverse will.
Our prisons, penitentiaries, and reform schools are recruited for the
most part from the ranks of the weak of mind and will. In every
community the many are easily led by the few. This is true in social
life and perhaps doubly true in political life, as we in America know to
our cost. That the perverse will may easily grow into the wicked will,
bent only on selfish and base ends, there is constant proof in the world
about us. Such men as those designated by a former President as
"malefactors of great wealth" belong to this class. Tyrants and despots
are made of men of strong but unregulated will. To this class belong the
overbearing and autocratic everywhere, who always insist upon having
their own way regardless of the rights or the feelings of others.
Without fully realizing it, many a family has among its members one
whose will rules the household, not because it is the wisest will, but
because it is the most determined.

"Man is made great or little by his will," said Schiller. The
disciplined will has gained the power of attention and of industry, has
learned method, accuracy, and dispatch in doing work. It has acquired
patience and perseverance and knows how to resist, to persist, to attack
and to conquer obstacles. "My imagination would never have served me as
it has," said Charles Dickens, "but for the habit of commonplace,
humble, patient, daily, toiling, drudging attention." "Genius," said
George Eliot, "is a vast capacity for receiving discipline." If even the
great writers admit, as many of them do, that their work is the result
of long and patient self-discipline, surely in the more ordinary walks
of life that kind of training may not be despised.

To have a work that we love is one of the supreme things to be desired
in life. It must be admitted, however, that the majority of the world's
workers find little pleasure in their task. Yet the next best thing to
doing one's work with enjoyment is to _do_ it--even without enjoyment.
This takes strength of will, more strength of will, indeed, than many
possess. This is one of the reasons (though not the only one) why there
are always and everywhere so many persons out of employment. The number
of such persons who have to be taken care of by the charity of the
State, simply because they cannot or will not hold themselves to labor
of any kind, is appalling.

But even the most favored of us, congenial though our work may be, have
duties to perform every day that are not especially pleasurable. A few
years ago Dr. Eliot, then President of Harvard College, addressed a body
of laboring men on "The Joy of Labor." He tried to show them that they
should not expect pleasure in every detail of their work, but rather in
seeing its larger relationships, and in working toward a certain
definite goal. He said that among the men of his acquaintance, those
whose work seemed to him most enviable had much to do in the course of
each day that could by no means be called pleasurable and that had to be
done by sheer effort of will. The men whom he was addressing, he
remarked, probably regarded his own work as wholly delightful; yet that
was by no means the case, as the larger part of each day's work was
drudgery, and his joy in doing it came only through realizing its
importance in the scheme of the whole. It is the disciplined will which
enables us to do the disagreeable or the uninteresting thing
uncomplainingly. The scientist at work in his laboratory, the lawyer
preparing his brief, the business man toiling by day and often by night
in his office, give most of their time to uninteresting details. Yet the
difference between success and failure usually lies in one's ability or
lack of ability to hold himself to uninspiring details.

Does the mother who has the care of a family need a disciplined will?
Who, indeed, needs it more? In whose life is there more of petty detail
and unending drudgery? Where is there greater need of the wide outlook
and the large vision? In this case it is the vision of a perfect home
which glorifies the petty details and the drudgery.

                   "Who sweeps a room as for thy laws
                   Makes that and the action fine."

The person of disciplined will has learned to respect the rights of
others. English people often comment on the lack of discipline in a
certain type of American home, with its self-asserting children who
ignore the rights of their elders. These children, grown up into young
men and women, trample on the rights and on the feelings of others. The
spoiled girl who goes away from home to live the community life in
school or college can quickly be distinguished from her more fortunate
fellow students who have behind them years of the firm and kindly
discipline of a wise home. She is obliged to adjust herself to the new
conditions, where her rights are of no more importance than those of any
one else. She must put herself under prompt and severe discipline if she
is to win for herself any place in the school or college world. If she
fails to do this, she must pay the penalty. Until she can be an
acceptable member of the community, she can have but small share in its
life. One of the best reasons why every girl should receive a part of
her schooling away from home is because of the wholesome discipline sure
to be administered by her fellow students.

The athletic field is one of the best places in the world for
discipline. Self-subordination to the good of the whole forms the basis
of success in every game. Good "team-work" admits of no bumptiousness on
the part of any player. No good, clean game is ever played without its
lessons in self-restraint and self-control.

A trained and disciplined will you will find to be your most valuable
resource, enabling you to do the thing that ought to be done and to do
it when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. Is not this
power the greatest asset possessed by those who have achieved true
success in every age? In these days, when learning is so often
sugar-coated and made attractive by every possible device, it is well to
emphasize this point. It seems to be the aim of some teachers--indeed,
of some schools of education--to administer the greatest amount of
knowledge with the least amount of effort on the part of the pupil.
Every device and every method which deprives a pupil of doing his own
thinking is harmful. The more genuine effort put forth the better. We
all know that the quick pupil who learns without effort is often
surpassed later in life by the plodding, hard-working pupil. One reason
is that the latter was forced to acquire while young those habits of
industry and perseverance which are the price of success.

A wise sprinkling of electives is a great improvement upon the iron-clad
course of study of a generation ago. I certainly would not be understood
as saying that it is better to study without enjoyment than with
enjoyment, for I strongly believe the opposite. There is a tendency
among students, however, in selecting a course of study to follow the
lines of least resistance. I would almost advise a student to go to the
other extreme. Remembering my own student days and the feeling of joy
and mastery that came from conquering some particularly difficult
subject in an inflexible course of study, I should give every student
the opportunity occasionally to measure himself against a subject that
is especially hard for him. It strengthens the sinews of the mind. It
breeds confidence and power. Can you not remember some occasion when you
mastered some especially difficult problem or subject, and can you not
still feel the exhilaration that came with that mastery? You became
suddenly conscious of new power, you could feel yourself grow. Then how
can you believe that you are being educated if your work is not of such
a nature as to call forth your highest powers? In regard to the tendency
of students in schools and colleges to choose "snap courses," Dean
Briggs says, "For any responsible work we want men of character--not men
who from childhood up have been personally conducted and have had their
education warped to the indolence of their minds." The attitude of mind
which is satisfied merely with a passing grade is most unscholarly and
betrays low ideals. One who is so satisfied has missed the conception of
what education really is.

In life, as most of us quickly find out, one of the most important
things we have to do is to overcome obstacles. They beset every path and
either they must yield or we must. Life is not intended to be easy for
any of us. Sometimes we meet persons who give us the impression of being
able to conquer any situation or any combination of circumstances in
which they may be placed. Whatever they undertake, we know they will
carry it through in spite of obstacles. Such people inspire confidence
wherever they go. We instinctively feel that they may safely be
entrusted with large things. Julia Ward Howe used to say that she never
dared to remark to her husband, Dr. Howe, that anything was impossible,
for he would go straight off and do it!

I wonder if it was not the discipline in the soldier's life which made
the early apostles speak so often of the Christian life in terms of
warfare. Certainly there is nothing else in war that could have appealed
to them. The soldier is the embodiment of discipline. He who would
command others must first learn to obey. It is through obedience,
discipline, that we come to authority. The first claim to a position of
leadership in the world is complete mastery of one's self.


                          THE SUCCESSFUL LIFE

We may not all agree upon a definition of success, but we shall all
agree that whatever it is, we want it; that, indeed, we want it more
than anything else in the world. How to secure it is what all the
colleges and schools are trying to teach and what all the ministers in
all the churches are preaching. If you knew you would sometime have to
look back, realizing that you had made a failure of life, you would
hardly care to go on living. Many do have this experience. Such a person
seems like a disabled vessel being towed into port with broken mast and
damaged rigging. Yet that person was once young and hopeful, with life
all before him, and he looked forward to something so different!
Sometimes we fail to realize that the very purpose of our school days is
to get us ready for the voyage; that we are day by day being taught the
use of chart and compass; that we are being shown where the danger lies
and where the safe paths are to be found.

If you want to know how you can secure for your own life and character
those qualities which you most covet, study the lives of those who have
these qualities and try to compel them to yield you their secret. As I
think, one after another, of the most successful lives of which I have
read in history, I find that there are certain characteristics that all
seem to have possessed in common. Take a dozen or a score of really
successful lives chosen at random and make them a subject of earnest
study and comparison. In outward circumstances and conditions of life
you will find these lives widely at variance. One person has been a
child of fortune and another has had the severest struggle with poverty.
One bears an honored name with generations of culture, character, and
achievement behind it; another is of obscure origin, with little help
from family or early environment. The ends accomplished in life have
been as different as the means of accomplishing them; yet in all worthy
lives there are certain clearly defined and common characteristics.

In the first place, I think that all the successful people whom I have
known or known of have had a definite purpose in life. I see them
keeping right on, striving for a certain goal, regardless of enticements
by the way. The able mariner knows to what port he is bound. He does not
keep changing his course, he does not become disheartened and drift with
every chance wind. Unswervingly he steers toward the goal he has in
view. Many of the failures in life are caused by purposelessness.

None of these persons whom I have classed among the successful seem to
have been seeking pleasure. They have been possessed by great ideas,
they have been occupied with large thoughts, they have been devoted to
the good of others, to the advancement of mankind. Can you imagine a
Lincoln or a Phillips Brooks wrapped up in his own petty concerns, even
for a day? The self-centered life is a failure. "He that is greatest
among you, let him be the servant of all." All really successful lives
have been moulded on that principle. Such men and women have not cared
especially about being great or famous, but how they have longed to
serve! There are thousands of unhappy persons who might find happiness
and the beginning of success if they would only stop asking whether they
are happy and would go and do something for somebody.

All really successful people have _faith_. They have faith in
themselves, faith in their fellow men, and faith in God. It is difficult
to see how any life can be strong without such faith.

We must have faith in ourselves because we are likely never to
accomplish more than we believe we can accomplish. It is not always
modesty on our part to shrink from an undertaking because of our
unworthiness; sometimes it is weakness. "Self-trust is the essence of
heroism," said Carlyle. This does not mean that there is no such thing
as over-confidence in self. We have all known people who over-estimated
their own powers. The conceited person is rightly considered a nuisance
and a subject of ridicule. The person who is always attempting some
great project which ends in a fiasco is deserving of the condemnation
which he receives. Yet most failures are caused by too little confidence
in self rather than too much. Our consciousness of weakness ought to be
accompanied by a belief in our power to overcome that weakness. The
self-distrust which hinders growth becomes a moral wrong. Those who
accomplish large things usually have a splendid self-confidence which is
as far removed as possible from self-conceit. It is said of Mary Lyon,
by one of her biographers, that she had "the rare power of
distinguishing between the impossible and the merely difficult." That is
a power we should all cultivate.

One thing that should be impressed upon young people, who have not yet
had sufficient experience to make the discovery for themselves, is that
we have a right to judge ourselves by the best of which we are capable,
not by the worst. There is an ebb and flow of the tides of the spirit.
We have our moods of depression and of exaltation. One of sensitive
conscience is quite likely to believe that his worst self is his real
self. That is not true. This conflict among the many selves that each of
us feels crowding for utterance within him is well expressed by one of
our minor poets:--

           "Within my earthly temple there's a crowd;
           There's one of us that's humble, one that's proud.
           There's one that loves his neighbor as himself
           And one that cares for naught but fame and pelf.
           There's one that's broken-hearted for his sins
           And one that unrepentant sits and grins.
           From much corroding care I should be free
           If once I could determine which is me."

In seeking to determine which of this motley crowd is really you, one
thing should be clear, your real self is what you are in your highest
moments. Do not accept as yourself the one who cares for fame and pelf,
but the one who loves his neighbor as himself; not the unrepentant one,
but the one who is broken-hearted for his sins. Life really is what it
looks to us to be when we are on the heights, not when we are in the
valley. When belief in our own possibilities is greatest, that is the
time when our vision is truest; for the first step in realizing those
possibilities is to believe in them. The vision of our best selves, of
our highest possibilities, which we had on the heights, must be carried
down into the valleys, there to furnish us inspiration and impetus.

               "But tasks in hours of insight willed
               Can be through hours of gloom fulfilled."

If you would be really successful you must have faith in your fellow
men. No doubtful or suspicious person was ever a benefactor of his race.
The person who can help you most is the one who has most faith in you.
So if you would help others, you must have faith in them. The power to
see the best in a person in spite of his faults is a precious power. If
you have it not, cultivate it. Never look for a mean motive in another.
Always recognize the germ of goodness, small though it be, and always
help it to grow. Nothing inspires us like the knowledge that some one
expects good things of us.

By believing in people we make them believe in themselves. There is no
greater service we can render our fellow men than to increase their
faith in themselves and in their own powers. To be a faith-inspirer is a
privilege we should all earnestly covet. We all know people from whose
presence we come away feeling that all things are possible. They
encourage us, they stimulate us, they compel us to believe in ourselves.
This rare and precious power belongs only to those whose lives are fed
from deep spiritual sources. To be a faith-inspirer one's own attitude
toward life must be right; one must be in tune with one's self. The very
atmosphere about such a person is charged with hope and cheer. No
pessimist, no cynic, no misanthrope was ever a faith-inspirer. The
possession of this quality depends not upon what we _do_, but upon what
we _are_.

Some people, as they grow older and meet with more or less selfishness
and deceit, as we all do, grow cynical. They conclude that there is no
such thing as honor or constancy or disinterested kindness. Cling with
undying faith to your belief in the goodness of human nature. Has some
one deceived you? In spite of that, be just as ready to trust again.

              "Better trust all and be deceived,
              And weep that trust and that deceiving.
              Than doubt one heart that, if believed,
              Had blessed one's life with true believing."

It would be difficult to find any one who has had real success in life
and yet does not believe in God. How can I keep my own life serene and
hopeful if I believe that the world is ruled only by blind chance, that
there is no meaning or purpose in life, that wrong may eventually
triumph over right? But belief in a wise and beneficent Ruler of the
universe should be the greatest element of strength in my own life; it
should give me assurance that the forces of the universe are in league
with righteousness and that good will finally triumph over evil.

What a comfort it is to believe, when the forces of evil seem to be in
the ascendant, that it is only for a moment! Perhaps you are troubled
because justice does not always seem to be done in the world. You know
that the wicked often prosper and the righteous suffer, and perhaps you
are troubled to understand why. Doubtless this is not easy to comprehend
fully, but far better than comprehension is the acceptance of it in the
right spirit and as a part of the divine plan. We all need a working
theory of life, a philosophy of life, if you will, or we cannot live
strong lives. One who has faith in "that Power not ourselves that makes
for righteousness" can be optimistic and serene, and can believe that
things everywhere are gradually working themselves out for good. No
matter what happens, such persons never believe that the world is going
to destruction. Even the most cruel and needless war since time began
cannot shake their faith that the world is gradually getting better and
that it will continue to grow better. When they stand for the right, it
is in the confidence that they are fighting on God's side and that in
the end He is always victorious.

I believe there is such a thing as a habit of success. Some people have
the habit, and you can hardly imagine them anywhere in this world or any
other where they would not be winning successes. Why? Because of two
things, high purpose and an indomitable will. Given both, what can
defeat us? "The day is his who works in it with serenity and great

Failure will come sometimes, to be sure, as it comes to all. But what of
that? The indomitable spirit will still urge us on. Browning held that
"we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better." So holds every brave,
strong soul. This is what I call _the habit of success_. That attitude
toward life, which in a failure or a defeat finds only a lesson for the
next time, is sure to win.

My definition of success, you will see, does not take large account of
wealth or position or fame, or of many other things some people
foolishly think spell success. One who has mastered the fine art of
living has had real success, whether or not the world ever hears of him.
Do not think that the success of one's life is to be measured by the
amount of pleasure in it. Some are fortunate all the days of their
lives, with good health, sufficient means, and kind friends. Others have
trouble after trouble heaped upon them, poverty, ill-health, and grief.
We are likely, if we are not discerning, to think that one has failed of
success when he has only been roughly buffeted by fate. We have to know
the soul to know whether or not one has been a success. We have to know
what God thinks of him.

What are the school days for unless they are to teach you values, to
show you which things are of most worth? The same qualities which bring
success in after life are needed in one's preparation for life.
Opportunities lie all about, unnoticed and neglected by some, by others
seized and employed to their full. Side by side sit two students, one
dull and listless or dissipating the energies of the mind in a thousand
ways; the other earnest, alert to seize every opportunity for
self-improvement. Later in life the two move on, one failing in
everything he undertakes because of these same habits of indifference
and indolence; the other applying his concentrated powers to the task in
hand and winning victory. Success in life is not greatly a matter of
opportunity, it is rather a matter of character.

              "Still o'er the earth hastes Opportunity,
              Seeking the hardy soul that seeks for her."


                         THE PROGRESS OF WOMAN

Of all the wonders which the history of civilization presents to us,
especially during the past century, by far the most remarkable is the
progress of woman. Just as we teach the story of political and religious
freedom to the rising generation, in order that the blessings of civil
and religious liberty may be more fully prized and guarded, so all girls
and women should be taught something of the long, arduous struggle which
women have had in order to reach the position which they now occupy in
the most enlightened parts of the earth. Though a painful struggle, its
history is instructive and stimulating. If we know what public opinion
has been in the past regarding woman's place in the world, we can more
truly decide whether or not present-day tendencies are to persist.

It is so easy for the unthinking to assume that the world is as it was
intended to be and that the customs and conventionalities of society are
divinely ordained. This is one of the reasons why we should be careful
students of history. No one who has the wide point of view which such
study gives can fail to recognize the fact that ours is by no means a
completed world, but that evolution is as surely in progress now as ever
it was, and that human society is still in the making. Each generation
is in duty bound to know the accumulated wisdom of past ages and to add
something to it for future generations.

There are many phases of the so-called "woman-question," the
enfranchisement of woman being only one of them, though the one we are
hearing most about to-day. All the questions which have arisen, and all
which are likely to arise in the future, may be summed up in one or two
all-important questions: Is there any freedom, privilege, or opportunity
accounted good for men that should be denied to women? If so, to whom
belongs the right to deny it?

Within the last few years many conventional ideas regarding woman's
sphere have been swept away and still others are disappearing. While the
discussion is going on, sometimes with heat and bitterness, but
sometimes calmly and sanely, a generation of girls is growing up, each
one of whom is vitally concerned. In what sort of a world are these
girls soon to take their places? To what extent are the duties and
responsibilities of woman to be different from what they have been? The
girl of to-day, who is to be the woman of to-morrow, should come into
this new world open-eyed and intelligent.

Only a few hundred years ago philosophers were seriously debating the
question whether or not women have souls. With the passing of the
centuries an attitude of mind so extraordinary was no longer possible,
but other ideas, which are not much less amazing in the light of to-day,
long persisted.

The literature of any age reflects current public opinion, and if we
would know how women were regarded and what qualities were thought most
desirable in them, all we need do is read the literature of that period.
Euripides reflects Greek sentiment when he makes Iphigenia say to
Achilles, "Better a thousand women should perish than one man cease to
see the light." The Latin motto, _Bene vixit qui bene latuit_ ("She has
lived well who has kept well concealed"), speaks eloquently of woman's
place in the days of the Roman Empire. In the metrical romances of the
mediæval period, women seem to live only to grace a tournament or to
furnish opportunity for a feat of chivalry on the part of some
knight-errant. In Chaucer's time such stories as that of Patient
Griselda force us to the conclusion that she was the most highly
esteemed woman who patiently endured the grossest injustice and the most
cruel wrong. The weak and sentimental women of Fielding, Richardson, and
other eighteenth-century novelists call forth our pity when we realize
the purposeless lives they were expected to lead. We must not overlook
the fact, however, that in every age there have been marked exceptions
to the general rule. From the time of Deborah, or long before, each age
has had its "new women," its nonconformists, who insisted upon doing
their own thinking. Most of Shakespeare's heroines are of this type.

From time immemorial laws have rested heavily upon women. This is true
of the Roman law, so just and fair in most respects. Woman was not a
citizen with the rights and privileges of a citizen; she was in a state
of perpetual tutelage. We do not, however, have to go back to Roman
times to find unjust discrimination against women. In this country
Connecticut was the first State to give women the power to make a will,
which it did only one hundred years ago. It is not long since a law was
enacted in Massachusetts giving women a legal right to their own
clothing. It took a terrible tragedy only a few years ago, the killing
of a number of innocent children by their half-crazed mother lest they
fall into the hands of their unworthy father, to cause the Massachusetts
Legislature to abolish the law which made the father the sole guardian
of his children.

In those parts of the world where the Christian religion is little
known, the progress of women has been even slower and beset with more
obstacles than in Christendom. Indeed, the women of those countries must
look to Christian lands for their salvation. Buddhism, the principal
religion of Japan, teaches that woman's only hope of heaven is that she
may be reincarnated as a man. Confucius, the founder of the religion
that prevails in China, taught that ten daughters do not equal the value
of one son. The woman of Brahminic faith is forbidden to read the
scriptures or to offer prayer in her own right. We all know something of
the horror of the suttee in India, which, until prohibited by English
law, permitted a widow to be sacrificed on her husband's funeral pyre.
The Moslem man prays, "O God, I thank thee that thou hast not made me a
woman," and the Koran teaches that strict obedience to her husband is
the only condition upon which a woman can be saved.

The fact that so few women have attained a supreme place in any art or
profession is often brought forward to prove the natural inferiority of
women. When we recall how few men attain the first rank in spite of the
honors and rewards showered by an approving world upon such a man, and
when we remember that until recently it was considered hardly
respectable for a woman to write a book, to paint a picture, or even to
publish music, the surprising thing is that so many women have defied
public opinion and have given expression to the genius that was in them.
George Eliot wrote under the name of a man in order to get a hearing.
The rich poetic gifts of Dorothy Wordsworth largely increased the fame
of her illustrious brother. No one knows how many of Felix Mendelssohn's
beautiful "Songs without Words" were the work of his sister Fanny, as we
are told by his recent biographers. Caroline Herschel was another gifted
sister whose labors helped bring honor and fame to her brother, the
great astronomer. If any of these women had lived in the twentieth
century, the world would have paid them high honor for the work of their
gifted minds.

The last half of the nineteenth century brought educational opportunity
to women and the inevitable result followed: they began to reason and
hence to ask their share of things, and it looks as if they would not
stop until they get it. What are they asking? That all artificial
barriers to their freedom be removed, nothing more. So far as nature has
created barriers for them and placed limitations upon them, these
barriers and limitations should be respected, must be respected. With
these, reasonable women have no quarrel. It is the artificially made
barriers they are determined to remove. The Chinese woman is realizing
that she has burdens sufficiently heavy to bear without adding that of
an artificial deformity. Life will not be any too easy for the feminine
half of the race even when they have obtained every right and every
opportunity to which they have a claim.

One of the things which women asked in vain for many years was the
privilege of higher educational opportunity. One hundred years ago there
was not a single college in our country which opened its doors to women.
All the arguments which are put forward against the enfranchisement of
women to-day were put forward yesterday against the extension of their
educational opportunities. Serious-minded and earnest men--and women,
too--argued that women had no use for the higher education; that they
were not capable of receiving it, and that if some, by chance, were
equal to it intellectually, they were not physically. The final and
seemingly unanswerable argument was that education would unfit women for
the sacred duties of the home. Now that our colleges are graduating more
than ten thousand young women every year who have not lost their health
and who make better wives and mothers because of their wider horizon and
broader interests, no one remembers these foolish fears.

Another privilege which women have been seeking for many years is the
opportunity to work; that is, they have been asking that there be no
artificial barriers between them and the work they want to do. The world
is yielding them this privilege, though slowly and somewhat grudgingly.
We are still told occasionally that woman is out of her place whenever
she seeks remunerative employment outside of the home. It makes little
difference, however, who approves and who disapproves. To put things
back to where they were one hundred years ago would be no less difficult
than to turn back Niagara River. Statistics tell us that there are at
present over eight million women in this country engaged in gainful

Perhaps you ask, But why do women rush out into the world to find work?
Why can we not go back to the good old times when all women found
shelter and safety within the walls of the home? The answer to this
question is a very complex one. More than fifty years ago Harriet
Martineau wrote of conditions in England, "A social organization framed
for a community of which half stayed at home while the other half went
out to work cannot answer the purposes of a society of which a quarter
remains at home while three quarters go out to work. With this new
condition of affairs, new duties and new views must be adopted."

There is wide disagreement as to the answer to the question why so many
women are engaged in gainful employments. You can best work out the
problem for yourself by recalling the women and girls of your
acquaintance who are earning a livelihood by work outside of the home.
Ask one of these why she does not give up her present position and go
back to the "shelter of the home." She will probably tell you that there
is in her home no possible means of support for her. The chances are
that she will tell you that her labor is one of the sources of income
for the maintenance of that home and dependent ones in it.

The talk of some people would lead you to think that if women would only
behave themselves they might all spend their lives in weaving and
spinning, as their great-grandmothers did. But if they did this there
would be no market for their labors; and who would earn the money
necessary for their support? If you knew the facts in regard to the
average home of one hundred years ago, you would find conditions vastly
different from what they are now. Then, the great bulk of the population
lived on farms, from which the labor of all drew sustenance for all. For
many years the trend of population has been toward the cities, and the
man who once made a comfortable living from the farm, with the
assistance of his family, now works in a store or a factory or some
other industrial concern. The compensation is often not enough for the
family necessities, and the labor of women must be added to that of men.
Formerly there were few men who did not have several dependent women
relatives in addition to wife and daughters. Now a self-respecting woman
prefers the independence which comes with self-support.

Moreover, a great deal of the most interesting work has been forced out
of the home. Labor-saving inventions have multiplied and every year
brings new ones. Thus have the forces of water and air and electricity
conspired to take away much of the ancient prerogative of woman. Your
great-grandmother, in all probability, made all the clothing for her
family, men included. Moreover, she and her assistants wove the cloth
and her hands spun the wool out of which it was made. The linen and the
wool must still be woven and made into cloth, but it must be done
outside of the home. One would almost have to be wealthy now in order to
wear garments toward which no machine had made any contribution. The
Ruskin weaving industries of England are an example of the handwork of
the twentieth century, but the textiles made on those looms are costly.

In your great-grandmother's home were manufactured all the lights
needed, the wax or tallow candles. We now demand gas and electricity.
Then all the food consumed in the home was prepared there. Now vast
canneries and factories do the work at less cost than it can be done in
the home. Ready-made clothing can often be bought as cheaply as the
materials alone for home manufacture.

What I wish to show is that the transference of the labor of the home to
the factory has robbed many women of useful, satisfying labor. This has
produced widespread unrest among them. The protest against inactivity
has caused an increasing army of women to knock upon the door of every
opportunity for productive, satisfying occupation.

It is not a wrong instinct in women which urges them, when not needed in
the home, to find activity outside of it. If you have a craving to do
something in the world, don't be ashamed of it. It may not be best for
you to do it, but the wish to do it does not prove that you are
unwomanly, even if it is something that has oftenest been done by men. I
am always glad when I find a girl seriously taking up some line of work
by means of which she may, if necessary, gain a livelihood. Is it wise
for parents to bring their daughters up without any definite aim,
instilling into their minds the idea that they will always be taken care
of and protected? Who is protected, who can be protected, when fortunes
are heaped up to-day only to be swept away to-morrow?

In the progress of women, it is the question of their enfranchisement
which is particularly agitating the world to-day, just as, yesterday, it
was the question of their education. We have no right not to be
interested in the matter. The statement may fearlessly be made that
there is not an American young woman alive to-day upon whom will not
fall, if she lives to a reasonable age, the responsibility of the
ballot. You may believe in woman suffrage or you may not, yet, with your
consent or without it, there will some time be placed in your hands an
instrument for the possession of which men struggled and fought for
hundreds of years, and for which many of them died; and for which women
have struggled since long before you were born, and for which many of
them would have been willing to die. The danger is that when woman
suffrage shall have become universal, and we are no longer reminded, as
we now constantly are, of the cost and the value of the ballot, we shall
cease to prize it, and shall grow careless of its use, as many men also
have done. That is the way of the world. What one generation purchases
at tremendous cost, the next accepts as a matter of course. A
distinguished woman, who, though she labored hard to help secure higher
educational privileges for women, was born a little too soon to avail
herself of them, gave an illustration of this. Her granddaughter, just
home on her first vacation from college, said to her, "Grandmother, I
wonder that you did not go to college. It is splendid!" How little that
girl knew of the long, uphill struggle that had taken place in order
that she might receive a college education!

Why are women asking for an opportunity to vote? Whatever arguments may
be adduced in favor of woman suffrage, we always come back to equality
as a first principle, the primary right of each individual to claim
before the law the same right as every other individual. It is not
entirely a question of the wise use of suffrage, it is a question of
liberty and equality. As the world has become more enlightened, liberty
has more and more become its governing principle, and the progress
cannot stop until every adult fitted for citizenship in any civilized
state shall be enfranchised.

Here are several reasons why, it seems to me, women should have the

First, in order that they may feed and clothe their families properly
and provide healthful homes for them to live in. The preparation of food
used to be solely women's business, but it is not now, as I have said.
Upon proper inspection of dairies, bakeries, canneries, etc., every
family depends for its well-being. Adulteration of food and misbranding
need to be guarded against. We all know something of the struggle that
has been waged for years by the Consumers' League and other beneficent
agencies against the sweat-shop system. Poisonous germs may lurk in a
garment made under unwholesome conditions. A polluted water-supply or a
defective sewage system may bring disease or death into any home. The
ballot is not the only weapon which can be employed against these evils
that menace the home, but it is probably the most effective one.

Another reason why women should vote is for the sake of the moral
welfare of their children. It is the voter who has it in his hands to
eliminate the saloon and to control the public dance-hall, the debasing
theater or moving-picture show, and other sources of moral corruption.
It is the voter who has the power to establish libraries and art
galleries, playgrounds and parks.

Women ought to vote for the sake of protecting and helping those who
cannot help themselves; for the sake of abolishing child-labor, and of
securing humane hours and reasonable wages for working-women as well as
better protection for young girls against those who would ensnare them.
They should vote, also, in order that they may have a voice in measures
affecting the public welfare, such as old-age pensions, mothers'
pensions, industrial insurance, prison reform, better care of the sick
and the aged, and all forms of civic betterment.

Women should vote in order that they may help to abolish unjust
discrimination against women. Even in this free Republic many steps will
have to be taken before women will have the same rights before the law
as men. The enfranchisement of women will hasten that time. It is only a
few years since Senator Tillman, of South Carolina, called to his aid an
ancient law of that State in order to enable his son, who had left his
wife, to take their children from her. South Carolina is not the only
State in which the law, in case of a legal separation, is most unjust to
the woman. According to a recent authority, women have the same rights
as men in the guardianship of their children in only sixteen States of
the Union. In some States the father has even power to deed the children
away from their mother. In a number of the States of the Union, the
husband still has legal control of his wife's property and he may claim
her wages. Every woman should resolve to do all in her power to help to
abolish such obviously unjust laws as these.

There is one more reason why women should vote, and that is, for their
own growth and enlargement. Only a few hundred years ago woman had
practically no liberty. She had little freedom before marriage, small
choice in marriage, unequal rights as a wife, no legal right to her
children. She could own no property; educational opportunities were
denied her; and her life from birth to death was determined by others,
not by herself. One has only to read such a story as Browning's "The
Ring and the Book" to understand something of the wrongs that millions
of women suffered before the days when the world in the process of
evolution was brought to a more enlightened idea of the rights of woman.
What vast progress she has made! One who knows the story of it can be
patient in regard to further progress, confident that it will come as
surely as the planets will continue in their orbits. And we must not
forget that at every step upward hands of strong and fearless men have
been held out to her, else she could not have reached her present
position. That person is doing small service to the world who attempts
to set the interests of women over against those of men and to create
antagonism between them. Let us never forget that their interests are
not opposed to each other, but that in the long run nothing can be
detrimental to one which is not also detrimental to the other.

             "The woman's cause is man's; they rise or sink
             Together, dwarfed or godlike, bond or free;
                 ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·     ·
             If she be small, slight-natured, miserable,
             How shall men grow?"


                          SOURCES OF HAPPINESS

You do not need to be reminded of the importance of this subject. Do we
not hear on all sides that happiness is what all the world is seeking?
Why are men toiling and struggling and warring with each other to heap
up wealth except that they believe it will bring happiness? It is
probably true that most of the actions of the majority of human beings
are directed, consciously or unconsciously, toward happiness as an end.
"We keep pleasure in the background of our minds, not allowing it to be
seen, yet always hoping for more and more of it," says one of our modern
writers on ethics. Yet I should be sorry to have you believe that
pleasure is the _summum bonum_ of life.

All normal, healthy young people are happy. There may be disappointments
and sorrows, but the power of rebound is great and happiness returns.
The Creator evidently wants us to be happy, and any other theory of life
is an unnatural one. The ascetics of the Middle Ages had a mistaken idea
of serving God, believing that the more they suffered, the better they
were pleasing Him. Our conception of God as a God of love forbids that
theory. In children and animals happiness is always a sign of
well-being, as it seems to denote absence of ill-adjustment. If a young
child appears to be happy, we feel that all is well with it. The
frolicsome play of all young creatures is an expression of the gladness
that has been implanted within them. The further removed we are from the
spirit of gladness, the less are we conforming to one of the deepest
laws of our being.

Happiness is good, not only as a sign that all is well with us, just as
silence in the machine denotes perfect adjustment, but it is good as
productive of something beyond itself. If we are happy, we work better.
Happiness has an exhilarating effect. If we are happy, we add to the joy
of all about us and thus increase the gladness of the world. Happiness
is not only the sign of absence of friction, it removes friction. It is
not only an indication of health, but a cause of health. One who enjoys
his dinner will digest it better than one who eats from duty. If
happiness is, then, so important, we may reasonably ask what we can do
to secure it.

We may rightly say that we want all the happiness we can have consistent
with other aims. A wrong attitude regarding it is that we must purchase
it at any cost, no matter how much we have to ride over the rights of
others to secure it. This is the attitude of many young people who have
been brought up in affluence and who have formed the fatal habit of
thinking that life must bring them whatever they want. One longs to say
to such young people that happiness does not depend upon what we have,
but upon what we are. The person who is discontented in a hovel would be
discontented in a palace, for even there he would have to live with
himself. Mrs. Wiggs could not have been happier in a mansion than she
was in her cabbage-patch, because her happiness was independent of
external things. She made it herself by her attitude toward the world,
toward her work, toward her troubles and her blessings. Those, however,
who are of an unhappy, discontented nature always attribute their lack
of happiness to some definite thing or things which their more fortunate
friends have and the possession of which they think would bring complete
happiness. In the expressive words of George Eliot, "Dissatisfaction
seeks a definite object and finds it in the privation of an untried

Happiness is never won by direct pursuit. Just when she seems so close
that we are sure we can reach out the hand and grasp her, she is gone,
and again we must start in hot pursuit. Many have spent their lives in
this way, a bootless chase. It is only when we give up this mad pursuit
and attend to our business in life that Happiness comes and makes her
home with us. "Pleasure to be got must be forgot."

But you are happy, so why talk to you about securing something which you
already possess, indeed, have never been without? Because there are many
kinds of happiness, some far more satisfying and more permanent than
others. It is for us to see to it that ours is of a kind that will stand
every test. At your stage of life you possess most of the blessings
which the world has always regarded as most desirable. If you wish to
count them you may begin with youth. To be young means that almost all
of life is before you and that no irrevocable mistakes have as yet been
made. There are many with misspent lives behind them, who would barter
everything they possess for youth and the opportunity to begin all over
again. You possess health. What would not the aged and feeble, the
crippled, the diseased, give for your vigorous body! Like most of our
truest riches, however, health is something we take as a matter of
course and do not know the value of until it has departed from us. You
have human love. Whoever you are there are those whose world is made
brighter because of your presence in it.

Youth, health, love are yours, so why should you not be happy? But I
have already said that you are happy. And yet I did not quite mean it. I
should probably do you no injustice if I should say that you are not as
happy as this splendid trio of blessings would seem to warrant. The
reason is that real happiness does not come as a gift. It is achieved
happiness that is of most worth.

You have often been told, no doubt, that the school days are the
happiest days of life. Some men and women of maturer years are very fond
of preaching this doctrine to young people. But it is a wrong and
pernicious theory of life, and those who advocate it condemn themselves
by their own words, for they show that they have lacked the power to
make life richer and deeper as it went on. "I never will believe," says
George Eliot, "that our youngest days are our happiest. What a miserable
augury for the progress of the race and the destination of the
individual if the more matured and enlightened state is the less happy

Getting to the end of school days is not, then, like walking off a
precipice. There is much beyond and it is good. To be sure, there will
be no more days just like the school days, with their freedom from care,
their glorious comradeship, and their stimulus to high endeavor. In
future years they doubtless will wear a halo possessed by no others, but
this will not mean that they were really the happiest. In fact, if the
first twenty years of one's life have truly prepared one to live, life
should constantly grow richer as it moves onward. We should grow happier
as we grow older because of two things, increasing power of service, and
a growing capacity for enjoyment. Dr. Eliot, ex-President of Harvard
University, once defined education as "increasing the capacity for
serviceableness and for enjoyment." In this sense education does not
stop with the school days. Each year should reveal new springs of power
and should develop within us new resources. Women ought to be even more
careful than men to develop such powers and resources, for a man's
active life in the world is much more likely to compel growth in him.
How many women there are who, after reaching middle life, when their
children are grown up and gone out of the home, find it impossible to
secure happy employment for the mind! They might have developed
resources and powers which would have given them an ever-increasing
interest in life.

We often hear people wish for childhood or youth again. When any one
expresses such a wish, he generally means that he would like to be a
child or youth again if he could take back with him all the wisdom and
all the powers and capacities that the years have brought him in
exchange for his vanished youth. But to be a child again, just such a
child as he was, and to grow up all over again, making the same unhappy
blunders and suffering from the same hard knocks in the process of
adjustment to an inexorable universe--who would wish it? As a matter of
fact, if we are really wise, we shall never wish that we might repeat
any period of life. Always, just beyond and beckoning to us, is the next
period, and we should always believe with Browning that "the best is yet
to be." No period of life has or can have a monopoly of happiness.

What, then, is this mysterious thing called happiness, which apparently
cannot be taken away from some, yet which others vainly pursue for a
lifetime? I have already said that it is something that has to be
learned or to be won. It is clear that having everything in the world to
make one happy does not always bring happiness, and the reason is that
there is no real well-being without consciousness of well-being. If one
were heir to vast riches, yet lived and died without knowing of his
wealth, it would have been just the same as to have had no wealth. To
have youth, health, love, and opportunity, and not to know that one is
blest by and through these great gifts, is, perhaps, not greatly
different from having none of them. So we see the importance of being
fully awake to the blessings we have. You think, for example, that you
enjoy and appreciate your home, but if you should learn to-morrow that
you had lost it, you would probably discover that you had not received
nearly as much happiness from it as you should have. Perhaps you would
even recall with remorse that you had sometimes envied the fairer home
of some friend, and had allowed yourself to grow quite unhappy over the
matter. If those you love best were suddenly to be taken from you, would
you then discover how small had been your real appreciation of them?
With a deeper appreciation would be found a gratitude constantly
translating itself in terms of kindness, patience, and unselfishness.
Ask yourself, then, whether you are sure you have derived the happiness
that should have been yours from the blessings nearest you.

Have we not learned in part the secret of happiness? _Consciousness of
our blessings, deep gratitude for them_, is one of the chief sources of
happiness. And do we not see why we grow happier as we grow older? Our
losses may be great,--are almost sure to be great,--but how we learn to
appreciate what we have left! How trivialities sink into their place and
the great things of life loom large! Once the day was overcast because
of some fancied slight or neglect, or the weather had upset some
cherished plan, or--but why go on with the list? Since then greater
troubles have come and a new sense of proportion has been born within
us; a consciousness of our great wealth is ever with us. This is one of
the secure foundations of happiness.

Do not wait for Experience to teach you these things, for she keeps a
dear school. Learn from the experience of others. There is plenty of
justifiable sadness in the world, there is plenty of real trouble. Those
of us who are not experiencing it owe it to those who are to be
cheerful, serene, and strong, that they may lean on us and that we may
help carry some of their heavy burdens.

Since it is entirely possible for life to grow happier as it goes on,
and since many people find it exactly the reverse, what more can be said
by way of pointing out the right path? And when should one seek this
path? May one wait until the years of unhappiness come? _One may not
wait._ The path may be choked with weeds unless one's feet find it now.
As you look forward into the years you have yet to live, what saner
question can you ask than how you can find that inward happiness which
has for many proved a bulwark against all the buffetings of fate?

It would be hard to over-emphasize the part _work_ plays in making one
happy. Idle people are generally unhappy. Look forward, then, to being
busy, as long as you live. Find something to do, somewhere, and throw
your whole self into your work. It need not be work that is paid for
with money, but something to occupy your time and thoughts you must
have. You need to feel that by your endeavors you are adding to the
world's welfare. Look forward to getting a large share of your happiness
in _service_ and you will not be disappointed. Work is a panacea for
most of the ills of life. When a great sorrow comes, how shall one
endure it unless one has work to do?

Another deep source of happiness is the carrying of responsibility. It
is good to develop early in life the habit of solicitude for others.
Fortunate are we if there are those who are in some way dependent upon
us; it is good for us to deny ourselves for their sake. Happy is the
girl who has younger brothers and sisters needing her affectionate and
watchful care.

Love must play a large part in every life. In solitude we become narrow,
we can never discover ourselves. We need friends and the stimulus of
contact with our fellow men. We must give and receive affection. The
trouble with most of us is that we think too much about receiving and
not enough about giving. Here as everywhere it is more blessed to give
than to receive.

For true happiness we need constantly increasing knowledge. An ignorant
life can hardly be a happy life. We should be on terms of closest
friendship with books. Every one should have some department or field of
learning in which he is steadily making conquests, and this in addition
to the reading of the best literature. It may be music, or art, or a
science, or a language, or some other pursuit to which one turns for
recreation and inspiration. In these days good instruction is obtained
so easily that intellectual stagnation is inexcusable. Indeed, any one
who is really in earnest can make intellectual progress without
instruction except that which one gives himself. I knew a busy lawyer
who so mastered the subject of botany through self-instruction that he
became an able writer and a recognized authority on the subject. Many
have mastered a foreign language with the assistance only of books. What
a mistake it is to think that with the closing of the school and college
days one should cease to be a student! We are never too old to begin the
serious study of some subject hitherto unknown to us. Did not Julia Ward
Howe begin the study of Greek at an age when most people only doze by
the fire?

I have mentioned as important sources of happiness four things--work,
responsibility, love, knowledge. It remains to call attention to three
kinds, or perhaps three degrees, of happiness. The lowest is merely
pleasure or a succession of pleasures. Pleasure depends largely upon
what we have, that is, upon external things. It has no deep roots at
life's center; yet it is good if we estimate it rightly and recognize
that it is not real happiness. Beautiful clothes to wear, good things to
eat and drink, a fine house to live in--these things all give pleasure,
yet many have found happiness without them. Some have had all of these
and yet have led discontented lives. Parties, balls, social pleasures of
every sort; travel, money to spend according to one's whims; these have
their place. Do they occupy a large place in your life? Well and good;
but there is nothing about any of these worthy to be ranked as
happiness. You can easily imagine yourself stripped of them all. Would
you then be miserable?

Congenial companionship and congenial work come nearer to making real
happiness for most of us. Indeed, there are few things upon which the
majority of people are so dependent. Yet it would not be difficult to
find those who have been deprived of both, and have yet led strong,
serene, and useful lives.

You have noticed that the sources of happiness which I have named differ
in that while some can be taken away from us, others cannot. It is
difficult to conceive of any place or time or circumstances under which
we could be deprived of the privilege of loving and serving. Our feeling
of obligation and responsibility for others is one that should deepen
with years, and from this source we should learn to derive more and more
of our happiness. This kind of happiness is very far removed from what
we ordinarily think of as pleasure; indeed, it often involves suffering.

"We can only have the highest happiness--such as goes along with being a
great man--by having wide thoughts and much feeling for the rest of the
world as well as ourselves; and this sort of happiness often brings so
much pain with it that we can only tell it from pain by its being what
we would choose before everything else, because our souls see it is

This was the happiness of Lincoln, carrying the burdens of his unhappy
country on his suffering heart; it was the happiness of the noble army
of martyrs of every age; it was the happiness of Christ. He taught us to
call it blessedness. As you carefully study His life and character, you
will see that He was acquainted with all three kinds of happiness. He
despised not pleasure. He was no ascetic, but came eating and drinking.
Great must have been the enjoyment in nature of one who could speak as
He spake of the lily of the field that outshone the splendor of Solomon,
of the humble sparrow unloved of men, but cared for by the good
All-Father, of the green blade bursting through the dark soil, of the
fields yellowing for the harvest. He enjoyed mingling with His fellow
men and knew the joys of friendship. The work which He had been given to
do absorbed Him and filled Him with constant joy. If He had not been
happy He could not have drawn others to Him as He did, and above all,
little children would not have come unto Him. If we sometimes have a
different idea of Him, it is because of the closing scenes of His life,
after He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

Yet it was blessedness that Christ knew best of all. The deeper joys
were His; the joy of self-forgetfulness and of self-sacrifice, and the
joy of knowing that He was in perfect harmony with His Father's will.
Yet who shall say that He was not happy? Would He have exchanged His
life of toil and hardship and suffering for any other lot? We know that
He never sought another. His secret lies open to the world, for He spoke
of it over and over again.

Life does not treat us all alike in the matter of pleasure, and if that
were the end and aim of existence this would seem to be a very unjust
world. Life does not treat us with entire impartiality even in the
matter of happiness. Though most of us are given sufficient material to
make life rich and full if we will, yet there are lives that seem to be
an exception to this rule. But life treats us all alike in that if
pleasure is denied us and we have scant material out of which to build
happiness, we may at least attain to blessedness. We may have the joy of
self-sacrifice, the privilege of living for others, the glad
consciousness of duty nobly done, the power of spiritual growth, the
blessedness of knowing that our will is in harmony with God's will.
These things the world does not give and it cannot take away.


                            AFTER GRADUATION

"There is a past which is gone forever, but there is a future which is
still our own." Never before or after is one likely to have such mingled
feelings of regret for the vanished past and eagerness for the
approaching future as at the close of the school life. Sometimes it is
difficult to decide whether the note of sadness or of joy is the
dominant one.

As the school days are seen to be rapidly slipping away, the student
recognizes, perhaps for the first time, something of their real worth.
They have not been wholly free from troubles and disappointments, though
some time, by contrast, it will seem that they have been so. Even now,
however, you know them to have been days of happy freedom, of glad
fellowship, of joyous achievement. Your chief regret in the future will
be that you did not quite understand how perfect they were. Now you
begin to see what older people mean when they talk of "halcyon days."
Not that they were the best days your life will know,--let no one
persuade you to that,--but they have a quality all their own that can
belong to no other period of life. They will loom larger and larger as
they recede into the past, for you will realize more and more fully how
much was then begun in you which will go on as long as your soul shall

There are few who can approach the end of school or college life without
being made a little serious by the thought that they are moving on. "So
our lives glide on," says George Eliot; "the river ends, we don't know
where, the sea begins, and then there is no more jumping ashore."
Perhaps it has come to you with overwhelming suddenness that the days of
preparation for life are over and that the life for which you have been
preparing is at hand. You seem always to have been in a safe and
sheltered harbor. Now you must push out into the great stream of life,
must become your own pilot, must henceforth be responsible for the
conduct of the voyage. Are you wise enough for such an undertaking? Who
is? Yet an all-wise Creator has ordained that this way lies the only
possibility of growth. Responsibility is thrust upon us and we grow able
to carry responsibility.

                  "When Duty whispers, lo! thou must.
                  The youth replies, I can."

The realization of all these sober facts, coming home to the young heart
with sudden force, often begets a mood of seriousness and of peculiar
responsiveness. It may be that one has not always listened very
attentively even to words spoken in deepest earnestness. Life is so full
of absorbing interests that it is easy to hear yet hear not. We
sometimes forget what an enormous amount of good advice is given to
young people and how difficult it would be to follow all of it. Yet I
have seldom known a student in whom the combined circumstances of
graduation--those to which I have referred and many more--did not
produce an earnest and responsive mood, a mood which welcomed sincere
and kindly advice. At such a time words of counsel are likely to sink
into the heart as seeds into the upturned earth after a rain. Is it for
this reason that we call in the wisest and most inspiring speaker we can
find to say the very last words to those whom we send forth, conscious,
as we always must be, how far short our best efforts have fallen of our
high intentions?

There is in the heart of every young person who has any serious thoughts
a desire that life may be lived worthily. Who can look forward with any
satisfaction to being a drone in the world's busy hive? Who can be
content to count only as a cipher? "Each of us," says one of our
ex-Presidents, "unless he is contented to be a slumberer on the earth's
surface, must do his life-work with his whole heart." Does not this
strike a responsive chord in each one of us?

There is a phrase current in these days which began as slang, but which
found so useful a place it is not likely to disappear. It is the phrase,
"make good." It is oftenest heard in connection with young people after
they have left school or college for active life. Their anxious friends
inquire, "Will he make good?" "Is she making good?" Unless I am mistaken
there is more or less turmoil and anxiety in the minds of most young
people--an anxiety seldom admitted to others and not always to
themselves, lest they may not "make good." The greater one's longing to
be of use, the greater, perhaps, the fear of inability to live up to
one's high obligations. How can one be sure of finding the opportunity
to render the service one is eager to render? All departments of service
seem already crowded; can it be that the world needs more workers? One
must be peculiarly endowed with self-confidence who feels no misgivings
on this score. Yet timidity never accomplished anything, and belief that
we shall succeed is the first essential of success. Though the world
presents an apparently solid front to the would-be worker, it is
astonishing how quickly it makes a place for one who shows the qualities
of perseverance and pluck. There is work for every one who is earnest
and willing. Put out of your mind, then, every thought of failure, have
faith in yourself and your own powers, and believe that your part in
life will be a worthy one.

We must remember, in the first place, that what we are at any given time
is only the beginning of our real selves, that is, of our realized
selves. The self you seem to be is not you any more than yourself of
five years ago was really you. We are constantly changing, never
completed. Little do you know the power that may develop within you. To
begin somewhere, somehow, doing what your hand or your brain finds to do
and doing it enthusiastically and well, is a sure guaranty of that
growth which begets larger opportunity.

To discover that opportunity, however, that vantage-point which
determines future growth, is, in the case of many young women, not so
easy as it seems. Few who are not brought close to the problems of large
numbers of young women realize how much more difficult it is for them
than it is for their brothers to find, immediately after graduation,
conditions which are conducive to earnest, purposeful, and growing
lives. Contrast a graduating class of young women with a similar class
of young men. Look forward into the next few years and note the
differences that are likely to exist in the conditions and circumstances
of their lives. In the majority of cases the young man has already
chosen his life-work and he hastens eagerly to it. Every stimulus to
endeavor is furnished him. The world expects him to give up all else, if
necessary, for that chosen work, and it is demanded of him that he
succeed. He knows the rich rewards which come to the man who reaches the
top of his profession or business. He may go to any part of the earth
that will best suit his own purpose. Though he be an only son, or even
an only child, he goes, and the world does not disapprove. To give up a
promising career that loved ones might not be left lonely would seem, to
say the least, quixotic. Has not the young man his own destiny to carve

All this is probably right. I am not finding fault with the world's
attitude toward its young men. I am not intimating that there is no
difference between men and women, or that it is right or desirable that
the average young woman should aspire to a "career." I should like,
however, to point out some of the obstacles that often lie in the way of
her growth. How frequent are the comments upon the apparently aimless
and purposeless life of some young woman who once was eager for growth
and useful activity! I want to inquire what the world has done to make
her life purposeful. Indeed, the probability is that if she has desired
to engage in some definite work that she loved and believed worth while,
a chorus of voices has gone up in protest.

Not all girls meet the same problems after graduation. In this respect
there are to my mind three distinct classes. First, there is the girl
who is well satisfied to settle down at home and to whom after a brief
period there comes an early and a happy marriage. So far as we are
concerned here, her problems are settled, and settled in an eminently
satisfactory way. To such a girl one only wants to give the warning that
to ensconce one's self snugly in a happy home with one's loved ones and
forget the rest of the world is ignoble. There are too many bad homes in
the world that need your touch, there are too many homeless people who
need your hospitality. While the first and best service you can render
is to create an ideal home, yet that home should be shared. One thing
which all of us, from the greatest to the least, can do is to work for
the betterment of the community in which we live. So long as there are
bad laws or unenforced good laws, harmful sanitary conditions, wrong
social influences, we should prove our good citizenship by making
sacrifices for the public welfare. The woman without a business or
profession is in a peculiarly advantageous position for giving the
service those with less time at their disposal cannot render.

The second class of girls I have in mind consists of those who do not
wish or need to settle down at home with little or nothing to do, but
who crave a larger activity. I am not speaking of those who are
genuinely needed at home. No girl with right instincts can be so
cowardly as to desert in their need--and for her own happiness or
supposed welfare--those to whom she owes most. Yet the need for her
often seems to exist when it really does not. There is no family that
would not be the happier for the presence of an affectionate and helpful
daughter in the home. Increase in the family happiness alone, however,
is not a sufficient excuse for stifling the desires of an eager and
aspiring daughter. The family should make sure that her highest welfare,
as well as their own, is being guarded. When the parents decided to give
that daughter an education, they took an irrevocable step. Is it strange
that now, with all her mental faculties developed and her heart awakened
to the needs of humanity, those things which once filled her life can do
so no longer? Parents who do not want to see in their daughter the
development of new interests and new longings should not educate her.

How often have I heard the plea that the daughter was needed in the home
when to the outward observer this need was much less than the daughter's
need of opportunity! Those who take it upon themselves to deprive a
young woman of that form of growth, or of service which she most
desires, should not be forgetful of her future. How many women have I
seen who had given up exclusively to their parents the best years of
their youth, letting the time slip by when they might have acquired
proficiency in some special and satisfying work! Death finally stepped
in and removed the objects of their love and the center of their
life-interest, leaving them alone, with empty hearts and lives. Look
about you and see how many women you can count up who belong to this
class. I have often asked myself in such a case what it was the family
received from this woman to justify the enormous sacrifice. I sometimes
wonder how parents ever dare to run the risk of such a fate for a
beloved daughter. The woman who does not marry should have some definite
occupation as a permanent source of happiness and growth.

Let us assume, for a moment, that you are one of the many young women
who long for some form of service that will exercise all your higher
powers and faculties. Let us suppose, further, that you are free from
those family responsibilities which would debar you from gratifying that
longing. The craving for useful activity is not something to be stifled.
It is the result of one of the greatest spiritual laws of life--the law
that action, progress, achievement are the essentials of a happy and
contented life. The soul wearies of the most beautiful surroundings when
deprived of happy activity. One of the supreme joys of life is the joy
of doing. To feel all one's powers stretched to the utmost, and to
realize that through the exercise of those powers one is making a real
contribution to the world's welfare, is the source of the deepest
satisfaction the human heart can know. Teas and balls and all the
pleasures of social intercourse have their place, but you cannot live on
them. They cannot feed the sources of the soul's power.

"Do something worth living for, worth dying for. Do something to show
that you have a heart and a mind and a soul within you," were some of
the ringing words of Dean Stanley. Half a century ago the world's
emphatic disapproval of the woman who engaged in any activity outside of
the home was enough to clip the wings of all but the most daring. How
difficult it is for us to realize now the scorn and contumely which were
heaped upon noble Florence Nightingale, when she announced that she
intended to become a nurse and to establish training-schools where other
young women might study that self-sacrificing profession! It was called
unwomanly, degrading.

The modern Florence Nightingale finds a world eager to welcome her
services, ready to recompense her for them, and glad to honor her. The
young woman of to-day finds little in the world's attitude to debar her
from entering upon any form of service which attracts her. Thus have our
ideas regarding women and their rights and privileges progressed in the
last fifty or sixty years. We recognize that in some respects men and
women are not as different as we once thought. The craving for
self-realization and the joy of achievement are neither distinctly
masculine nor distinctly feminine. They are simply human.

Find, then, an opening somewhere. If you cannot secure the precise thing
you want to do, take what you can secure and make a success of it. Learn
to do something well, and if possible let it be something for which the
world is glad to compensate you. Mrs. Palmer believed that every girl,
rich or poor, should acquire the ability to earn a living for herself
and others in case of need. She insisted upon "the importance of giving
every girl, no matter what her present circumstances, a special training
in some one thing by which she can render society service, not amateur,
but of an expert sort, and service, too, for which it will be willing to
pay a price."

The third girl whom I have in mind is the one whose presence in the home
is indispensable, who must put out of mind all forms of remunerative
labor, and, therefore, must find her chief success and happiness in
ministering to the needs of loved ones. It may be that the mother upon
whom you once leaned so heavily must now lean on you. Or perhaps the
mother is no longer in the home and you have the high privilege of
taking her place. What better opportunity for growth than this could any
girl ask? We cannot choose our duties. Life makes them for us, and if we
shirk them, there is no happiness and no success for us. If you make it
the rule of your life to escape from what is burdensome and to choose
the path of pleasure, happiness will not come anyway and you will lack
the satisfaction of knowing that you have done right.

Yet even the girl who remains in her own home can usually spare time and
strength for some other service, and it is best that she should. Her
horizon is thereby widened, new friends that are worth while are made,
and she is given an opportunity for growth in a different direction from
that supplied by home duties. I have known many girls who have been
remarkably successful in combining the two--work inside and work outside
of the home. Living in your own home and helping to make it a center of
attraction, hospitality, and fine influence, you are in a peculiarly
fortunate position for rendering a form of service which is needed in
every city and every village throughout the country. Many young women so
situated have done efficient work in connection with the Young Women's
Christian Association or with girls' clubs. Church work is a field that
is open to all. In women's clubs, literary clubs, and organizations for
civic betterment many find avenues for useful activity, while others
find satisfaction in charity work, hospital work, or other forms of
benevolent service.

The young woman who seeks to give her service is often surprised at her
inability to find just what she likes or to perform it well when found.
This is because the untrained worker is always at a disadvantage. It is
far easier to fill a humble position on a small salary, where the duties
are definite and must be performed whether one will or no. In such a
position, if one is earnest and industrious, one must necessarily grow.
With all forms of unpaid labor, the danger is lest one may not take
one's work seriously enough, and may not hold one's self closely to
responsibility. Any trained worker who depends upon volunteer
assistants, as is often the case in girls' clubs and the Young Women's
Christian Association, can tell you how rarely she finds an unpaid
helper upon whom she can depend. If you select some such work, even
though you can give it but a few hours a week, and if you see fit to
throw yourself as enthusiastically and earnestly into it as if you were
taking a position as teacher or librarian or stenographer, there can be
no doubt that you will find in it happiness and success.

When you think of the thousands of homeless women wage-earners, you can
realize how thankful every girl should be who has a good home. Surely
there is, for most girls, some midway ground between starting out as
independently as their brothers do, to carve out their own career, and
stagnating at home. One of the chief results of the higher education of
women should be that they do much uncompensated labor which is now done
badly or not at all. There is a rich field for women of the well-to-do
classes who do not need to earn their living, and this field is growing
larger every year. There is little excuse for idle hands or empty hearts
or purposeless lives. Some have eyes to see, yet they see not. If you
belong to the class of girls to which I have referred, ask yourself what
some more eager and purposeful person in your place would find to do.

It is a splendid thing to live in the twentieth century. The young
people who enter life these days are going out into the busiest world
there has ever been. Never has the need of strong, capable, intelligent
women been so great. The bond of fellowship which unites each one of us
to the whole human race is to be recognized in the future as never
before. Women of the future are to demand of themselves almost all that
was demanded of the women of the past and much more, and they will be
equal to the demands because of more highly trained intelligence.

The greatest temptation of the average young woman to-day in our better
classes of society is to listen too willingly to the winsome voice of
pleasure. I do not mean wrong kinds of pleasure; I mean those that are
in themselves harmless. Nor do I mean that it is desirable that youth
should lose any of its natural joy and gladness. The world can ill spare
any of that. But the continual giving-up of ourselves to things that
leave no lasting impress for good, and that do not lift us above
ourselves, robs us of time and strength that should be given to the main
business of life.

"The great wrong in modern life," says Professor James, "is a desperate
struggle for a four-cornered contentment. Teach those who come your way
that it is not a formal peace which is worth having in life; it is the
deep consciousness of power to create and progress, to create _new_ in
life, and to live for wide, free, unsullied things, which never fail and
never can decay."

                          The Riverside Press
                       CAMBRIDGE · MASSACHUSETTS
                               U · S · A

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