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is the main thing. The work is what counts, and if a man does his work well and it is worth doing, then it matters but little in which line that work is done; the man is a good American citizen. If he does his work in slipshod fashion, then no matter what kind of work it is, he is a poor American citizen.1
Speech to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Chattanooga, Tenn., September 8, 1904.
III. TENDERNESS AND STRENGTH
I I WANT to see you game, boys; I want to see you brave and manly; and I also want to see you gentle and tender. In other words, you should make it your object to be the right kind of boys at home, so that your family will feel a genuine regret, instead of a sense of relief, when you stay away; and at the same time you must be able to hold your own in the outside world. You cannot do that if you have not manliness, courage in you. It does no good to have either of those two sets of qualities if you lack the other. I do not care how nice a little boy you are, how pleasant at home, if when you are out you are afraid of other little boys lest they be rude to you; for if so you will not be a very happy boy nor grow up & very useful man. When a boy grows up I want him to be of such a type that when somebody wrongs him he will feel a good, healthy desire to show the wrong-doers that he cannot be wronged with impunity. I like to have the man who is a citizen feel, when a wrong is done to the community by any one, when there is an exhibition of corruption or betrayal of trust, or demagogy or violence, or brutality, not that he is shocked and horrified and would like to go home; but I want to have him feel the determination to put the wrong-doer down, to make the man who does wrong aware that the decent man is not only his superior in decency, but his superior in strength; not necessarily physical strength, but strength of character, the kind of strength that makes a good and forceful citizen.
The place in which each of you should try to be most useful is his own home, and each of you should wish for and should practice in order to have courage and strength, so that they can be used in protecting the gentle, in protecting the weak, against those who would wrong weakness and gentleness. The boy who will maltreat either a smaller child, a little boy or a little girl, or a dumb animal, is just about the meanest boy that you can find anywhere in the world. You should be brave and able to hold your own just because you should be able to put down such a bully. It should be your pride to be the champion of the weak. You will find a certain number of boys who have strength and who pride themselves in it, and who misuse it. The boy who will torture something harmless, who will oppress the boy or girl who is weak, or do wrong to those who cannot resist, almost always proves to have a weak streak in him, and not to have the stuff in him that would make him stand up to an equal foe under punishment. That boy has not real courage, real strength; and much though I dislike seeing a boy who is timid, who is afraid, who cannot hold his own, I dislike infinitely more, I abhor, the boy who uses strength and courage to oppress those who cannot help themselves.
[MANLINESS and courage) — these qualities are allimportant, but they are not all-sufficient. It is necessary absolutely to have them. No nation can rise to greatness without them, but by them alone no nation will ever
1 Address at the Graduating Exercises of Friends' School, Washington, May A, 1907.
become great. Reading through the pages of history you come upon nation after nation in which there has been a high average of individual strength, bravery, and hardihood, and yet in which there has been nothing approaching to national greatness, because those qualities were not supplemented by others just as necessary. With the courage, with the hardihood, with the strength, must come the power of self-restraint, the power of selfmastery, the capacity to work for and with others as well as for one's self, the power of giving to others the love which each of us must bear for his neighbor, if we are to make our civilization really great.
The other day in a little Lutheran church at Sioux Falls I listened to a most interesting and most stimulating sermon, which struck me particularly because of the translation of a word which, I am ashamed to say, I myself had always before mistranslated. It was on the old text of faith, hope, and charity. The sermon was delivered in German, and the word that the preacher used for charity was not charity, but love; preaching that the greatness of all the forces with which we deal for betterment is love. Looking it up I found, of course, what I ought to have known, but did not, that the Greek word which we have translated into the word charity should be more properly translated love. That is, we use the word charity at present in a sense which does not make it correspond entirely to the word used in the original Greek. This Lutheran preacher developed in a very striking but very happy fashion the absolute need of love in the broadest sense of the word, in order to make mankind even approximately perfect.
We need then the two qualities - the quality of
which I first spoke to you, which has many shapes, the quality which rests upon courage, upon bodily and mental strength, upon will, upon daring, upon resolution, the quality which makes a man work; and then we need the quality of which the preacher spoke when he spoke of love as being the great factor, the ultimate factor, in bringing about the kind of human fellowship which will even approximately enable us to come up towards the standard after which I think all of us with many shortcomings strive. Work and love, using each in its broadest sense work, the quality which makes a man ashamed not to be able to pull his own weight, not to be able to do for himself as well as for others without being beholden to any one for what he is doing. No man is happy if he does not work. Of all miserable creatures the idler, in whatever rank of society, is in the long run the most miserable. If a man is utterly selfish, if utterly disregardful of the rights of others, if he has no ideals, if he works simply for the sake of ministering to his own base passions, if he works simply to gratify himself, small is his good in the community. I think even then he is probably better off than if he is an idler, but he is of no real use unless together with the quality which enables him to work he has the quality which enables him to love his fellows, to work with them and for them for the common good of all."
Speech at Topeka, Kansas, May 1, 1908.