« PreviousContinue »
HESE truths I hold to be
I self-evident: That man was made to be happy; that happiness is only attainable through useful effort; that the very best way to help ourselves is to help others, and often the best way to
help others is to mind our own business; that useful effort means the proper exercise of all our faculties; that we grow only through exercise; that education should continue through life, and the joys of mental endeavor should be, especially, the solace of the old; that where men alternate work, play and study in right proportion, the organs of the mind are the last to fail, and death for such has no terrors. That the possession of wealth can never make a man exempt from useful manual labor; that if all would work a little, no one would then be overworked; that if no one wasted, all would have enough; that if none were overfed, none would be underfed; that the rich and “educated” need education quite as much as the poor and illiterate; that the presence of a serving class is an indictment and a disgrace to our civilization; that the disadvantage of having a serving class falls most upon those who are served, and not upon those who serve just as the real curse of slavery fell upon the slave-owners. That people who are waited on by a serving class cannot have a right consideration for the rights of others, and they waste both time and substance, both of which are lost forever, and can only seemingly be made good by additional human effort. That the person who lives on the labor of others, not giving himself in return to the best of his ability, is really a consumer of human life and therefore must be considered no better than a cannibal. That each one living naturally will do the thing he can do best, but that in useful service there is no high nor low. That to set apart one day in seven as “holy” is really absurd and serves only to loosen our grasp on the tangible present. That all duties, offices and things which are useful and necessary to humanity are sacred, and that nothing else is or can be sacred.
HE very first item in the
creed of common sense is
and obedience is doomed to disappoint himself and everybody with whom he has dealings. To flavor work with protest is to fail absolutely. When you revolt, why revolt-climb, hike, get out, defy-tell everybody and everything to go to hades! That disposes of the case. You thus separate yourself entirely from those you have served—no one misunderstands youyou have declared yourself. The man who quits in disgust when ordered to perform a task which he considers menial or unjust may be a pretty good fellow, but in the wrong environment, but the malcontent who takes your order with a smile and then secretly disobeys, is a dangerous proposition. To pretend to obey, and yet carry in your heart the spirit of revolt is to do half-hearted, slipshod work. If revolt and obedience are equal in power, your engine will then stop on the center and you benefit no one, not even yourself. The spirit of obedience is the controlling impulse that dominates the receptive mind and the hospitable heart. There are boats that mind the helm and there are boats that do not. Those that do not, get holes knocked in them sooner or later. To keep off the rocks, obey the rudder. Obedience is not to slavishly obey this man or that, but it is that cheerful mental state which responds to the necessity of the case, and does the thing without any back talk, unuttered or expressed. Obedience to the institution-loyalty! The man who has not learned to obey has trouble ahead of him every step of the way. The world has it in for him continually, because he has it in for the world. The man who does not know how to receive orders is not fit to issue them to others. But the individual who knows how to execute the orders given him is preparing the way to issue orders, and better still—to have them obeyed.
LL adown the ages society
to a thief, and his career