Thursday, February 16, 2017

Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son

Came upon this book two decades late I think. Even though the setting is more than a century old, the writings are still relevant, if you can close your eyes to the social set up during the age.
The path isn’t the shortest way to the top, but it’s usually the safest way.
Life isn’t a spurt, but a long, steady climb. You can’t run far up-hill without stopping to sit down. Some men do a day’s work and then spend six lolling around admiring it.
You can always bet that when a fellow’s pride makes him touchy, it’s because there are some mighty raw spots on it.

It’s been my experience that pride is usually a spur to the strong and a drag on the
weak. It drives the strong man along and holds the weak one back. It makes the fellow with the stiff upper lip and the square jaw smile at a laugh and laugh at a sneer; it keeps his conscience straight and his back humped over his work; it makes him appreciate the little things and fight for the big ones. But it makes the fellow with the retreating forehead do the thing that looks right, instead of the thing that is right; it makes him fear a laugh and shrivel up at a sneer; it makes him live to-day on to-morrow’s salary; it makes him a cheap imitation of some Willie who has a little more money than he has, without giving him zip enough to go out and force luck for himself.

There are two things you never want to pay any attention to—abuse and flattery. The first can’t harm you and the second can’t help you. Some men are like yellow dogs—when you’re coming toward them they’ll jump up and try to lick your hands; and when you’re walking away from them they’ll sneak up behind and snap at your heels.

As long as you can’t please both sides in this world, there’s nothing like pleasing your own side.
On marriage and I do not think this institution has changed much over the years :)
An unmarried man is a good deal like a piece of unimproved real estate—he may be worth a whole lot of money, but he isn’t of any particular use except to build on. The great trouble with a lot of these fellows is that they’re “made land,” and if you dig down a few feet you strike ooze and booze under the layer of dollars that their daddies dumped in on top. Of course, the only way to deal with a proposition of that sort is to drive forty-foot piles clear down to solid rock and then to lay railroad iron and cement till you’ve got something to build on. But a lot of women will go right ahead without any preliminaries and wonder what’s the matter when the walls begin to crack and tumble about their ears.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------One can read the whole book out here:

1 comment:

  1. This part about unmarried man is quoted everywhere now..whats the name of the book?


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