What a fool he has been!
Perhaps he has caught himself in time. If so he is in luck and Nature may partially forgive him and give him a chance to “come back.” He is well scared and he means to be good. But the scare wears off, and then, too, “business” presses him on again. And finally, still well this side of sixty, perhaps, Nature taps him on the shoulder and says, “Stop!”
“But,” he pleads, “I’ll be good!”
“You are in the way,” she replies, “and the sooner you make place for wiser men the better I shall have my work done.”
But it is not alone the business world that is full of these untimely breakdowns. We lose many a man in the professional ranks with ten years of his best work before him, the man of ripened intellect, with his store of reading and experience—stopped oftentimes in the very midst of that masterpiece whose volumes would be read by future generations.
Executives whose value to corporations is increasing in a compound degree suddenly receive notice that the continually bent bow is cracking; almost immediately they lose their ambition and initiative, they become prematurely aged. These are indeed expensive losses!
And all this could be saved at an expenditure of a few paltry hours a week devoted to the repair of the physical man; given that and we may safely promise that he shall round out the full measure of his mental labors.
The men of this country are going the pace at a far more reckless rate than that of any other nation. Philosophers like Prof. Irving Fisher are sounding the warning. Shall we heed it?
When Dr. D.A. Sargent, of Harvard University, makes the charge that, “More than one-half of the male population between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years are unable to meet the health requirements of military service, and that, of the largest and strongest of our country folk pouring into our cities, barely one of their descendants ever attains to the third generation,” it becomes a pretty serious charge. We are already familiar with the forgetfulness of physical condition by men over forty, but we had prided ourselves considerably over the belief that the majority of our youth would compare favorably with those of other countries. When one comes to sift the statement, he should remember that many disabilities for which the military examiners might reject a man are not so serious, after all, and that nothing has been said about the splendid physique of the large number of men who are accepted.