Consideration for others does not admit of ostentation and hypocrisy. We never allow our left hand to know what our right hand does in charity, nor do we boast of our helpful attitude toward our fellow men. It is well to make a point of this fact—in this world are many “ne’er-do-wells" who fail to profit by advice and thereby become professional in the seeking of favors. Consideration owes them nothing and to withstand their persistent appeals would in time dull our natural tendencies toward helping others.
The world helps those who help themselves. We have little admiration for the man who is forever whining. Society has no work for such people as these. When we have exhausted every means of helping such a man we must in self-defense pass him up before he contaminates our sense of justice. We must keep our visions clear.
Consideration for others is a prime refinement of character. To be able to use it in our daily lives becomes one of our greatest consolations. Sympathy begets affection and kindly deeds—in a relative sense it binds together the properties which go to make the soul within us. Browbeating, scolding, irascibility and the like are microbes which react against the milk of human kindness, to which, if we succumb, leaves us stranded and alone amid a world of friendliness and good fellowship.
KEEPING OURSELVES DEMOCRATIC
Big words and pomposity never were designed for the highest types of men. Our great national figures have almost without exception had one quality which was a keynote to their ultimate success—this was their simplicity. Next was their accessibility. There are numberless big-hearted and big-brained individuals in the world whose duties are so manifold that in order to accomplish what has been placed in their hands they must be saved from interruption, but the truly great individual is never hidden away entirely from his fellow man. He never becomes such a slave to detail that he does not find time to fraternize with ordinary mortals. We do not find him concealed behind impenetrable barriers, guarded and pampered by courtiers like unto a king on his throne—or tucked away in some dark office. He wants to know everybody worth while and everybody worth while is welcomed by him. He doesn’t affect to know so much that he cannot be told something new. He is not the sort to refuse to see us at any reasonable time.
We should not confound greatness, however, with notoriety. A man who by virtue of large publicity has compelled public notice isn’t necessarily a great man no matter how hard he may strive to make himself appear so. Especially is this true of the man who does not make a personal success corresponding to his advertised fame. In time he may have the “ear-marks” of notability but, as Lincoln said: “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”