SELF - HELP.
“WHAT I HAVE SAID, I HAVE
(By “Pilot” in the Manchester Times.”
Of course everybody associates these words with Mr Chamberlain, but they are much older than he, and they will live long after him. The question is, what have you said ? Probably the answer will be “Nothing !” A friend of mine is fond of a glass of beer or whisky. I don’t suppose he was ever drunk in his life —he merely likes a glass now and then, but every while he fancies he has had just one too many—though nobody "else agrees with him. And repeatedly I have heard him say, “That's the last for a month.” Now, the difference between this man and the man in the street is that ho does really go without intoxicating liquor for the whole month —cost what it may even in annoyance and pain. What he has said, he has said. What he has-resolved to do he does ; amHnothing will turn him aside. Well ! I ani tired of that subject too. Mr Orison Sweet Mardcn will tell you, Samuel Smiles will tell you, Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie will tell you, and a host of others also, that he who thinks he can —can. Let mo tell you that such a doctrine is too strong meat for most people.
Ke a rly every letter I get in my capacity as the “Pilot” proclaims the inherent weakness of the average man or woman. People would give anything to succeed. They would do almost anything- to make money-, but they 'do not trust the only person on earth who can help them. They have no faith in themselves. For every person who persists in going his own way and doing things as he thinks they ought to be done, there are a thousand who faithfully perform the orders of another, faithfullv execute an allotted task.
I am not talking of loafers or drones. I refer now to yon, dear reader, and myself. How many people have yon known in your life who could be compared with Abram Lincoln, who, when the emancipation of the American slave became an accomplished fact, wrote in diary ; “I promised my Clod I would do it.”
Neither ridicule, nor caricature, neither the dread of his enemies, nor the desertion of his friends, could or did shake his indomitable faith in his ability to lead America through the greatest crisis in her history. lake ytonewal 1 Jackson he wa,s determined to fight the battle out on his lines, “if it took all summer.’’
But you and I, though we sometimes dream of groat things, dare not oven declare war. You young men and women, knowing that nearly everything you do or leave undone is the wrong course for you, 'dare not declare war on your mates. You are afraid of a laugh or a sneer. You dare not go to evening school, or Sunday school, or refuse alcohol or tobacco, or save every penny you can. Whatever .the cost in money, self respect, or loss of opportunity, you must be like other people. And yet you talk of winning life’s battle. It is to all the world as if you were to throw a hundred youngpeople into the sea. Ninety of them would drown because they could not swim. And perhaps of the rest there would be a few who were not too frightened to try. But probably there would only be one who would have the pluck to think, “Well, I don’t know how to swim, but I’m hanged if I’m going to drown without an effort.’’ The 'effort would be made, and it would succeed.
But just to show you how ridiculous is the position of the average man, what would you think of him if he were to say, "Everybody else seems to be going to the bottom. They either cannot swim, or do not think it worth while to tiy. I will not try either.” You can see the absurdity of that position ; why not of your own ?
There is no better teat ; you can apply it for yourself. It runs through the Bible from beginning to end. Read where you will, and you will discover two roads, one is a broad plain, and leading to destruction. The other road is narrow, difficult, stony, and guarded by lions and Apollyons all the way. Few indeed there be who enter in at the strait gate, either in religion or anything else. If you are going to do anything you have got to declare war, and most of us simply dare not do it because we are afraid of ourselves.
One of the elder Dumas' secretaries waa publicly considered the winter of most of his books. The great French romancer, who was an exceptional chef, had the truth of this brought home to him at the moment of a great culinary triumph. He was proudly boasting the qualities of a new sauce he had invented, to a varied company. “And did make that, too 7” queried a small boy, mentioning the name of the secretary. Dumas simply smiled.
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SELF – HELP., Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 23 March 1907
SELF – HELP. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 51, 23 March 1907
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