Friday, January 23, 2015

Post #1735

There is nothing too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
—Samuel Johnson

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Post #1734

Excess is not the only thing which breaks men in their health, and in the comfortable enjoyment of themselves; but many are brought into a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere sloth; and sloth is in itself both a great sin, and the cause of many more.
—Robert South

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Post #1733

The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble gods.
—Socrates

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Post #1732

Prudence is not only the first in rank of the virtues political and moral, but she is the director and regulator, the standard of them all.
—Edmund Burke

Monday, January 19, 2015

Post #1731

He that swells in prosperity will be sure to shrink in adversity.
—Charles Caleb Colton

The Penalty of Leadership

In every field of human endeavor, he that is first must perpetually live in the white light of publicity. Whether the leadership be vested in a man or in a manufactured product, emulation and envy are ever at work. In art, in literature, in music, in industry, the reward and the punishment are always the same. The reward is widespread recognition; the punishment, fierce denial and detraction. When a man’s work becomes a standard for the whole world, it also becomes a target for the shafts of the envious few. If his work be mediocre, he will be left severely alone – if he achieve a masterpiece, it will set a million tongues a -wagging. Jealousy does not protrude its forked tongue at the artist who produces a commonplace painting. Whatsoever you write, or paint, or play, or sing, or build, no one will strive to surpass or to slander you unless your work be stamped with the seal of genius. Long, long after a great work or a good work has been done, those who are disappointed or envious, continue to cry out that it cannot be done. Spiteful little voices in the domain of art were raised against our own Whistler as a mountebank, long after the big world had acclaimed him its greatest artistic genius. Multitudes flocked to Bayreuth to worship at the musical shrine of Wagner, while the little group of those whom he had dethroned and displaced argued angrily that he was no musician at all. The little world continued to protest that Fulton could never build a steamboat, while the big world flocked to the river banks to see his boat steam by. The leader is assailed because he is a leader, and the effort to equal him is merely added proof of that leadership. Failing to equal or to excel, the follower seeks to depreciate and to destroy – but only confirms once more the superiority of that which he strives to supplant. There is nothing new in this. It is as old as the world and as old as human passions – envy, fear, greed, ambition, and the desire to surpass. And it all avails nothing. If the leader truly leads, he remains – the leader. Master-poet, master-painter, master-workman, each in his turn is assailed, and each holds his laurels through the ages. That which is good or great makes itself known, no matter how loud the clamor of denial. That which deserves to live — lives.
written by Theodore F. MacManus
Copyright Cadillac Motor Division