So unerring is the fat man’s judgment of values, as a general rule, that it is not at all likely that he would ever find himself a misfit were it not for the fact that many men are lean and slender or muscular and robust up to the age of 30 or 40, and after that put on flesh rapidly. These men, therefore, are often deceived in regard to themselves. In the slenderness of youth, they feel active and are active. In short, they have the qualities, in these early periods of their life, which we should expect in men of similar build. They are, therefore, too likely to enter upon vocations for which they will find themselves unfitted as the years go by and they put on more flesh. It often happens that men of this class graduate from the ranks of thinkers or workers into the ranks of managers, financiers, bankers, and judges, as they put on flesh and become better and better adapted for that particular kind of work. The only trouble is that sometimes they are not well enough trained—they do not have sufficient education for the higher positions. In these cases they remain misfits. Oftentimes they succeed in getting into positions of comparatively mediocre executive nature, when they could assume and make a success of very much higher positions if they had a true knowledge of their vocations.
The story of Hon. Alfred L. Cutting, of Weston, Massachusetts, perhaps illustrates as well as any other in our records the aptitudes and vocational possibilities of this type. Mr. Cutting comes of good old New England stock, his ancestors on both sides having settled in Massachusetts comparatively early in the seventeenth century. His father and his grandfather before him were merchants, and young Alfred began working in the parental general store as soon as he had finished school.
As a youth, Mr. Cutting was quite distinctly of the bony and muscular type, being very active, fond of rowing and fishing, a great lover of nature and of long tramps through the beautiful hills of eastern Massachusetts. As he entered manhood, however, he began to put on more flesh and to take less interest in strenuous outdoor sports. At the same time, he began to take a hand, in a quiet, modest way, in the town politics of Weston. While still a comparatively young man, he was elected a member of the board of selectmen of this town and has held this position with singular acceptability to his fellow-citizens almost continuously ever since.