Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

many of our elders are. But you, Young America, are not. Thinking to you isn't a chore; it is an adventure! Your minds are like a fresh horse, crazy to take six bars. You are the hope

of the world, because you have enthusiasm and ginger, because 5 you feel, and you haven't yet forgotten how to think.

What can you do?

You know what the men and women of your country did to defend American principles abroad. Let it be your part to find

out what your city, your state, your nation are doing for the 10 welfare of their citizens and the upholding of American principles at home.

You can do more. You must do more. You, the girls and boys of America, must create a new standard of values for your

generation. For a century, men the world over, but especially 15 here in our United States, have bowed to material success as to

the greatest god they knew. We have exalted the man with money as we have exalted no other type in American life. We have praised his virtues and ignored his vices; we have listened

to him as we never would to a saint in glory, when he told us 20 the stages of his progress toward success; we have pointed to

him as a shining example of the best to which a youth might aspire.

He who has dollars, we said, has success; he who has not dollars, has not success. It is the first duty of man to be successful, 25 we said. Therefore, get dollars!

The youth of America has obeyed that insistent mandate, generation after generation; and in countless hearts, aspirations for something higher than dollar-chasing have been sternly

crushed in order that the golden quest should be unimpeded; 30 and men have made unbelievable fortunes; and the glamour of

their achievement has made other men everywhere a little greedier, a little more ruthless, a little more jealous of their own, a little more envious of others, impatient of law, intolerant

of opposition, scornful of all things that cannot be clutched with 35 hands.

We have been taught that success can be written only in figures; and a few men have gathered in the dollars of the many, and, in consequence, we have slums and child labor and strikes

and starvation and bomb outrages and the rumblings of revo5 lution. No reform that social theorists can devise can sweep

those offspring of our god, Success, for long out of our national life. As long as the gathering of dollars is regarded as the highest form of victorious effort, we shall have inequality, injustice,

bitterness, and class strife. If we are ever to be free of them, 10 we must have a new standard of success. We must learn that

success consists not in what we have but in what we are, not in what we hold in our pockets but in what we hold in our heads and our hearts, not in our skill to buy low and sell high, but in our ability greatly to dream, to build, to battle, to kindle, to

15 serve.

Young America, it must be your business in these years to raise this new standard before the eyes of your fellow-citizens, your aim to give them a new ideal of what constitutes success;

for without such a new standard, without such a new ideal, all 20 that you do for citizenship and democracy will be only a stop

gap that will hold the floods of corruption back here or there for a year or for ten years, only to release them at last in increased volume.

Our present ideal of success is based on selfish, individualistic 25 enterprise and greed.

How can that harmonize with democracy, whose essence is service?

The answer is simple. It cannot harmonize with it; it never has, it never will. In every village, town, and state, greed and 30 selfish enterprise—the qualities that make for "success" as we

know it—are the inveterate enemies of democratic institutions.

If you want dollars above all, do not talk of citizenship and democracy.

But if you want democracy above all, know that success in

35

life lies not in the accumulation of unnecessary bonds and houses, but in service, in knowledge, and in the appreciation of beauty.

If you want honestly to help your country, set about now to 5 give her a notion of what makes real success.

a

a

NOTES AND QUESTIONS Biography. Hermann Hagedorn (1882- ), a native of New York and a graduate of Harvard University, is an author and social worker. For several years he taught English at Harvard University. He has written a number of books and plays; his shorter articles and poems appear from time to time in the current magazines. This selection is taken from his book for American boys and girls, You Are the Hope of the World.

Discussion. 1. Why do you think boys and girls take "baseball or crêpe de Chine” more seriously than the “gorgeous experiment” of democracy? 2. What practical training in taking active part in a democracy does your school offer? 3. How do boys and girls respond when responsibility for order in the halls or care of equipment, for instance, is placed upon them? 4. In your opinion, what does America stand for? 5. Which of the shortcomings listed by the author have you noticed in your community? 6. What efforts are you or your school making to remedy some of these things now? 7. Hermann Hagedorn seems hard on the "elders”; what purpose may he have in his remarks? 8. What are the standards of success in your school and community? 9. What characters in history or in your circle of acquaintances do you know who have had other aspirations than dollars ? 10. What is the new standard of success? 11. How can boys and girls put into practice in school these high ideals"greatly to dream, to build, to battle, to kindle, to serve"? 12. What can you do, because you love American democracy, to make these ideals the standards by which the popularity of boys and girls in your school is judged? 13. Read again what is said in the Introduction on page 256 about "the spirit of service” that every good citizen must have; why is this spirit so necessary in a free government? 14. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: materialistic; sordid; corruption; stodgy; mandate. 15. Pronounce: abhor; exaltation; individualistic.

world kings, 299, 3 logical heirs, 299, 10 take six bars, 301, 3

Phrases for Study

standard of values, 301, 13
golden quest, 301, 29
social theorists, 302, 5

Outline for Testing Silent Reading. Make an outline to guide you in telling the main thoughts of this selection.

Library Reading. Other chapters from You Are the Hope of the World.

Newspaper Reading. Bring to class and read the best editorial you can find urging some needed improvement in citizenship.

Suggestions for Theme Topics. 1. A school experiment in self-government. 2. Things in my school that tend to make pupils social, that is, to develop in them a spirit of coöperation (team work) and service (helpfulness to others). 3. How a school by its organization and discipline may help to realize a true democracy. 4. A report on the George Junior Republic (The Junior Republic, George). 5. How a school composed of many nationalities typifies our republic. 6. How the presence of different nationalities in a school helps the students to become more intelligent, more sympathetic, more tolerant, and more democratic. 7. How the Boy Scouts, the Camp Fire Girls, the Girl Scouts, and similar organizations promote the spirit of democracy. 8. Book reviews of The Promised Land, Antin; How the Other Half Lives, Riis; From Alien to Citizen, Steiner.

A Suggested Problem. Write out a list of things you can do to make your town or neighborhood a better community. (The Delineator for March, 1920, contains suggestions for community improvements.) Keep a record for a week of the particular thing you have done each day, such as helping to beautify your school grounds or your home, picking up waste paper, etc. Or make a program for a “Good Health Day" discussion.

THE HERITAGE OF NOBLE LIVES

THEODORE ROOSEVELT

The Americans who stand highest on the list of the world's worthies are Washington, who fought to found the country which he afterwards governed, and Lincoln, who saved it through the

blood of the best and bravest in the land; Washington, the 5 soldier and statesman, the man of cool head, dauntless heart, and

iron will, the greatest of good men and the best of great men; and Lincoln, sad, patient, kindly Lincoln, who for four years

5

toiled and suffered for the people, and when his work was done, laid down his life that the flag which had been rent in sunder might once more be made whole and without a seam.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the material effects of the careers of Washington and Lincoln upon the United States. Without Washington we should probably never have won our independence of the British crown, and we should almost certainly have failed to become a great nation, remaining instead

a cluster of jangling little communities, drifting toward the type 10 of government prevalent in Spanish America. Without Lincoln

we might perhaps have failed to keep the political unity we had won; and even if, as is possible, we had kept it, both the struggle by which it was kept and the results of this struggle would have

been so different that the effect upon our national history could 15 not have failed to be profound.

Yet the nation's debt to these men is not confined to what it owes them for its material well-being, incalculable though this debt is. Beyond the fact that we are an independent and united

people, with half a continent as our heritage, lies the fact that 20 every American is richer by the heritage of the noble deeds and

noble words of Washington and of Lincoln. Each of us who reads the Gettysburg speech or the second inaugural address of the greatest American of the nineteenth century, or who studies

the long campaigns and lofty statesmanship of that other Amer25 ican who was even greater, cannot but feel within him that lift

toward things higher and nobler which can never be bestowed by the enjoyment of mere material prosperity.

It is not only the country which these men helped to make and helped to save that is ours by inheritance; we inherit also 30 all that is best and highest in their characters and in their lives.

In the same way that we are the better for the deeds of our mighty men who have served the nation well, so we are the worse for the deeds and the words of those who have striven to bring

evil on the land. We have examples enough and to spare that 35 tend to evil; nevertheless, for our good fortune, the men who

« ForrigeFortsett »