People who own automobiles have a great deal to say about “tire-trouble.” There are a great many kinds of tire-trouble. In the first place, a tire often gets punctured by a nail running into it. Then there are “blow-outs” caused by the inner tube giving way. Then there are leaky valves, by which the air slowly leaks out. There are also sand-blisters, caused by little particles of sand getting into the tire and making a swelling in it, which soon gives way. And finally tires may get rim-cut, which means that the steel rim which fastens them on wears them through by rubbing. The result of these things is what is known as a flat tire with all the air gone out, and the automobile bumps on the hard rim.
Boys and girls have tire-troubles, too. I have seen boys and girls get so vexed about things that they just exploded in a burst of temper like a blow-out in a tire. I have known them to run up against something sharp and difficult which took all the buoyancy out of them, just like a nail causing a puncture in a tire. I have known them to tell a lie, although nobody else knew it, and it bothered them so inside that it was like sand on the inside of the tire causing a sand-blister. I have known them to fret about things so that all their enthusiasm leaked away just as the tire that had a leaky valve. And finally I have known them to be rim-cut by associating with some sharp-tongued boy or girl. The result of all this was a flat tire, and these boys and girls just went bumping along without any happiness or lightness of heart. They couldn’t get anywhere with their work or their play.
The only cure that I know of for a boy or girl with a flat tire is more of God’s uplifting strength.
God says that they who trust in Him shall run, and not be weary.
Probably all boys and girls whisper in school if they think the teacher will not catch them. Some teachers set boys and girls to watch one another and to tell on one another when they see anyone whispering. I do not think that is a fair thing to do, for it makes tell-tales of boys and girls. And tell-tales are never attractive.
The story I am going to relate to you is about a teacher who set the pupils in a room to watch each other, and to tell if they caught anyone idle. One boy had a grudge against another, and he thought that now would be the time to get even with him. So he watched carefully, and as soon as he found the other boy idling he called the teacher’s attention to it. Of course every boy and girl waited anxiously to see what the teacher would do. And then something unexpected happened. The teacher said to the tell-tale: “So you saw this boy idling, did you?”
“Yes, sir,” quickly answered the boy.
“Then,” said the teacher, “what were you doing when you found him idling?” The boy blushed, and hung his head. He not only had been caught idling himself, but playing a mean trick. That was a lesson for him: he never watched for idle boys again. And it ought to be a lesson for us, too, when instead of attending to our own work, we neglect it, and try to get other people into trouble.