As an individual the average soldier is a sneak, a shirk, a failure, a coward. He is only valuable as he is licked into shape. It is pretty much the same in business. It seems hard to say it, but the average employe in factory, shop or store, puts the face of the clock to shame looking at it; he is thinking of his pay envelope and his intent is to keep the boss located and to do as little work as possible. In many cases the tyranny of the employer is to blame for the condition, but more often it is the native outcrop of suspicion that prompts the seller to give no more than he can help.
And here the sergeant comes in, and with watchful eye and tireless nerves, holds the recreants to their tasks. If he is too severe, he will fix in the shirks more firmly the shirk microbe; but if he is of better fibre, he may supply a little more will to those who lack it, and gradually create an atmosphere of right intent, so that the only disgrace will consist in their wearing the face off the regulator and keeping one ear cocked to catch the coming footsteps of the boss.
There is not the slightest danger that there will ever be an overplus of sergeants. Let the sergeant keep out of strikes, plots, feuds, hold his temper and show what’s what, and he can name his own salary and keep his place for ninety-nine years without having a contract.
The Spirit of the Age
Four hundred and twenty-five years before the birth of the Nazarene, Socrates said, “The gods are on high Olympus, but you and I are here.” And for this—and a few other similar observations—be was compelled to drink a substitute for coffee—he was an infidel! Within the last thirty years the churches of Christendom have, in the main, adopted the Socratic proposition that you and I are here. That is, we have made progress by getting away from narrow theology and recognizing humanity. We do not know anything about either Olympus or Elysium, but we do know something about Athens.
Athens is here.
Athens needs us—the Greeks are at the door. Let the gods run Elysium, and we’ll devote ourselves to Athens.
This is the prevailing spirit in the churches of America to-day. Our religion is humanitarian, not theological.
A like evolution has come about in medicine. The materia medica of twenty-five years ago is now obsolete. No good doctor now treats symptoms—he neither gives you something to relieve your headache nor to settle your stomach. These are but timely ting-a-lings—Nature’s warnings—look out! And the doctor tells you so, and charges you a fee sufficient to impress you with the fact that he is no fool, but that you are.
The lawyer who now gets the largest fees is never seen in a court-room. Litigation is now largely given over to damage suits—carried on by clients who want something for nothing, and little lawyers, shark-like and hungry, who work on contingent fees. Three-fourths of the time of all superior and supreme courts is taken up by His Effluvia, who brings suit thru His Bacteria, with His Crabship as chief witness, for damages not due, either in justice or fact.