Recently there has been a great deal said about the fact that all of the land on the surface of the earth has now been occupied by mankind; that hereafter, food products will become higher and higher in price; that each of us will have to be satisfied with a little less wealth than formerly; that rents will be higher; that the price of land will steadily increase—that, already, there is not enough of the bare necessities of life to go around. This is cited as the cause of pauperism and given as an excuse for war. May not this attitude be mistaken? We have not yet scratched the surface of the possibilities. These out-of-door men are fitted by nature to take the scientific truths discovered by those better fitted to sit indoors, and make practical application of them to the problems of increasing the wealth of the race. If a boy in Alabama can grow 232 bushels of corn on one acre of ground, then farmers all over the country can grow at least 100 bushels of corn on an acre which now yields an average of 25 to 30 bushels. By scientific methods, Eugene Grubb has grown a thousand bushels of potatoes upon an acre of Wyoming land. A considerable addition will be made to the wealth of the race when a thousand other Eugene Grubbs arise and increase the productivity of thousands of other acres of potatoes.
In his excellent little book, “The Art of Handling Men," Mr. James H. Collins says:
Broadly speaking, the personal equation is that Something in a man that makes him effective in managing other men.
It is the difference between the fellow who lets a political club, a military company or a factory force go all to pieces, and some other fellow who can put the pieces together again, or rather, draw them together instantly. For the man who reorganizes without this Something is like the chap who cleans his own clock—he usually has a few pieces of the organization left over because they wouldn’t fit in anywhere. The personal equation is magnetic. It comes along and acts, and every part falls into place, and the organization is capable of performing a lot of new functions.
Not one person in five hundred possesses the faculty. Those who don’t, like to comfort themselves with the assurance that it is a gift which Providence forgot to hand out to them. Innumerable stories grow up around the man who does possess it. One glance from his eagle eye, people say, and he reads you through. One word, and he enforces instant obedience. Thus the personal equation is glorified and mystified. But men who really have this valuable Something seldom make much mystery about it. They insist it is largely a matter of common sense, which everyone ought to have at their disposal.
[Footnote 4: Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia.]
The personal equation has an interesting way of raising moral issues.