Kingship also involves a larger vision. One man looks at his shoe-strings; another man looks at the stars. The first step toward rule is to find a point of view from which one can look widely out over the race. This is the primary value of education: it is not that books are important, but that men are—the men who have swayed history—and books tell of such men. Not the library is inspirational, but the life-spirit of mankind, bound up in even dusty papyrus-rolls, or set on clay-tablets of four thousand years ago. He who would serve his times politically must first understand, so far as may be, all times.
Another basis of supremacy is conviction. Leadership belongs to those who believe. The man who has a definite policy to propose, and a definite way of working for it, soon outstrips the man who is just looking about.
Kingship involves an iron will. An iron will does not imply necessarily ugliness of temper, obstinacy, or pig-headedness. It is simply a straight-forward, dauntless, and invincible way of doing things. What I say, you must do, is back of all successful leadership, whether in the home or in the world-arena. The man who is master of the obedience of his child, or of his fellows, is master of their fate. We are all at the mercy of the strong-willed.
Growth is development in right assertion; it is the assumption of legitimate responsibility and command. To be lowly of heart does not mean to be inefficient; to be humble does not necessarily mean to be obscure. Luther and Lincoln were both of a childlike humility of heart.
What Christianity has not emphasized in the past, but what it must now begin to emphasize, is the reality of dominion—its value, and its relation to the kingdom of God. For centuries, religion has too often been thought of, too often spoken of, as if it were the last resource of the heart, A brilliant young professor of psychology not long ago referred to religion as something to flee to, by those who were disappointed in love! We have spoken so much of “giving up,” that the Christian life has wrongly seemed to mean the giving-up of one’s individuality, interests, powers. As well might we expert the deep sea to give up its rolling tides, or the air to give up its four winds, as to expect the heart of man to part with its human hopes!
This is not a right interpretation of life. When Nature plants an oak in the forest, she does not say, Be a lichen, an Eozooen canadense, a small ground-creeping thing! She says, Grow! Become a tall, strong, mountain tree! When we hold our baby in our arms, we do not say, My child, be good for nothing! Neither does God say, Be nothing, do nothing! Just exist as humbly and meekly as you can! He says, “Quit you like men!”