Friday, December 11, 2015

Post #1965

A great deal of useless sympathy is in this day expended upon those who start in life without social or monetary help. Those are most to be congratulated who have at the beginning a rough tussle with circumstances. John Ruskin sets it down as one of his calamities that in early life he had nothing to endure. A petted and dandled childhood makes a weak and insipid man. No brawn of character without compulsory exertion. The men who sit strong in their social, financial, and political elevations, are those who did their own climbing. Misfortune is a rough nurse but she raises giants. Let our young people, instead of succumbing to the influences that would keep them back and down, take them as the parallel bars, and dumb bells, and weights of a gymnasium, by which they are to get muscle for the strife. Consent not to beg your way to fortune, but achieve it. God is always on the side of the man who does his best. God helps the man who tries to overcome difficulties.
—Reverend Dr. Thomas De Witt Talmage

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

A deadly viper once bit a hole snipe's hide; But 'twas the viper, not the snipe, that died.

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El Paso, Texas, United States
Native Texan · Navy Veteran · Various Scars and Tattoos · Forged in Fire · Never Schooled and Yet Learned

One from the archives

Post #269

What's money?  A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do. —B...