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to face with conditions that were practically unknown in this nation half a century ago. The power of the forces of evil has been greatly increased, and it is necessary for our self-preservation that we should similarly strengthen the forces for good. We are all of us bound to work toward this end. No one of us can do everything, but each of us can do something, and if we work together the aggregate of these somethings will be very considerable.
There are, of course, a thousand different ways in which the work can be done, and each man must choose as his tastes and his powers bid him, if he is to do the best of which he is capable. But all the kinds of work must be carried along on certain definite lines if good is to come. All the work must be attempted as on the whole this Young Men's Christian Association work has been done, that is, in a spirit of good will toward all and not of hatred toward some; in a spirit in which to broad charity for mankind there is added a keen and healthy sanity of mind. We must retain our self-respect, each and all of us, and we must beware alike of mushy sentimentality and of envy and hatred.
It ought not to be necessary for me to warn you against mere sentimentality, against the philanthropy and charity which are not merely insufficient but harmful. It is eminently desirable that we should none of us be hard-hearted, but it is no less desirable
that we should not be soft-headed. I really do not know which quality is most productive of evil to mankind in the long run, hardness of heart or softness of head. Naked charity is not what we permanently want. There are of course certain classes, such as young children, widows with large families, or crippled or very aged people, or even strong men temporarily crushed by stunning misfortune, on whose behalf we may have to make a frank and direct appeal to charity, and who can be the recipients of it without any loss of self-respect. But taking us as a whole, taking the mass of Americans, we do not want charity, we do not want sentimentality; we merely want to learn how to act both individually and together in such fashion as to enable us to hold our own in the world, to do good to others according to the measure of our opportunities, and to receive good from others in ways which will not entail on our part any loss of self-respect.
It ought to be unnecessary to say that any man who tries to solve the great problems that confront us by an appeal to anger and passion, to ignorance and folly, to malice and envy, is not, and never can be, aught but an enemy of the very people he pro fesses to befriend. In the words of Lowell, it is far safer to adopt “All men up” than "Some men down" for a motto. Speaking broadly, we can not in the long run benefit one man by the downfall of another.
Our energies, as a rule, can be employed to much better advantage in uplifting some than in pulling down others. Of course there must sometimes be pulling down, too. We have no business to blink evils, and where it is necessary that the knife should be used, let it be used unsparingly, but let it be used intelligently. When there is need of a drastic remedy, apply it, but do not apply it in the spirit of hate. Normally a pound of construction is worth a ton of destruction.
There is degradation to us if we feel envy and malice and hatred toward our neighbor for any cause; and if we envy him merely his riches, we show we have ourselves low ideals. Money is a good thing. It is a foolish affectation to deny it. But it is not the only good thing, and after a certain amount has been amassed it ceases to be the chief even of material good things. It is far better, for instance, to do well a bit of work which is well worth doing, than to have a large fortune. I do not care whether this work is that of an engineer on a great railroad, or captain of a fishing-boat, or foreman in a factory or machine-shop, or section boss, or division chief, or assistant astronomer in an observatory, or a second lieutenant somewhere in China or the Philippines—each has an important piece of work to do, and if he is really interested in it, and has the right stuff in him, he will be altogether too proud of
: what he is doing, and too intent on doing it well, to waste his time in envying others.
From the days when the chosen people received the Decalogue to our own, envy and malice have been recognized as evils, and woe to those who appeal to them. To break the Tenth Commandment is no more moral now than it has been for the past thirty centuries. The vice of envy is not only a dangerous but also a mean vice, for it is always a confession of inferiority. It may provoke conduct which will be fruitful of wrongdoing to others, and it must cause misery to the man who feels it. It will not be any the less fruitful of wrong and misery if, as is so often the case with evil motives, it adopts some highsounding alias. The truth is that each one of us has in him certain passions and instincts which if they gained the upper hand in his soul would mean that the wild beast had come uppermost in him. Envy, malice, and hatred are such passions, and they are just as bad if directed against a class or group of men as if directed against an individual. What we need in our leaders and teachers is help in suppressing such feelings, help in arousing and directing the feelings that are their extreme opposites. Woe to us as a nation if we ever follow the lead of men who seek not to smother but to inflame the wild-beast qualities of the human heart! In social and industrial no less than in political reform we can do
healthy work, work fit for a free Republic, fit for self-governing democracy, only by treading in the footsteps of Washington and Franklin and Adams and Patrick Henry, and not in the steps of Marat and Robespierre.
So far, what I have had to say has dealt mainly with our relations to one another in what may be called the service of the State. But the basis of good citizenship is the home. A man must be a good son, husband, and father, a woman a good daughter, wife, and mother, first and foremost. There must be no shirking of duties in big things or in little things. The man who will not work hard for his wife and his little ones, the woman who shrinks from bearing and rearing many healthy children, these have no place among the men and women who are striving upward and onward. Of course the family is the foundation of all things in the State. Sins against pure and healthy family life are those which of all others are sure in the end to be visited most heavily upon the nation in which they take place. We must beware, moreover, not merely of the great sins, but of the lesser ones which when taken together cause such an appalling aggregate of misery and wrong. The drunkard, the lewd liver, the coward, the liar, the dishonest man, the man who is brutal to or neglectful of parents, wife, or children of all of these the shrift should be short when we speak