Clint Smith added these ETP readings on 02.23.2017
Ever the “editor,” I thought I would clean up some typos and add a couple of readings.
With the typo repaired:
A TALL GENTLEMAN
An English nobleman was coming to visit a Scottish home.
The master of the household, sending a servant to meet him, sought for some description by which the visitor might easily be recognized.
“When the train comes in,” he said at last to the servant, “you will see a TALL GENTLEMAN HELPING SOMEBODY.”
That, in parable, is the Christian ideal.
Over these sixty generations one Figure has towered, from the fascination and dominance of whose personality mankind never can escape.
Height and helpfulness in him were perfectly combined.
And the world has come to recognize his spirit, living again on earth, whenever there appears spiritual attitude blending with lowly service – a tall gentleman, helping somebody.
From THE MEANING OF SERVICE By Harry Emerson Fosdick
THE CADET PRAYER
O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of Men’s hearts, help us to draw near to Thee in sincerity and truth.
May our religion be filled with gladness and may our worship of Thee be natural.
Strengthen and increase our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and suffer not our hatred of hypocrisy and pretense ever to diminish.
Encourage us in our endeavor to live above the common level of life.
Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.
Endow us with courage that is born of loyalty to all that is noble and worthy, that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.
Guard us against flippancy and irreverence in the sacred things of life.
Grant us new ties of friendship and new opportunities of service.
Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance, and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.
Help us to maintain the honor of the Corps untarnished and unsullied and to show forth in our lives the ideals of West Point in doing our duty to Thee and our Country.
All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of men.
A gentleman is a man who is clean inside and outside,who never looks up to the rich or down to the poor,who can lose without whimpering, who can win without bragging,
who is considerate of all women, children and old people – or those who are weaker or less fortunate than he is; a man who is too brave to lie,too generous to cheat;
whose pride will not let him loaf,and who insists on doing his share of work in any capacity.
A man who thinks of his neighbor before himself, and asks only to share equally with all men the blessings that God has showered upon us.
afc: not authored by Wiggins, but read by him
Not too far from our house is Oak Ridge Military Academy. This is posted in a building on campus:
Definition of a Gentleman
A gentleman is a man who is clean inside and outside, who neither looks up to the rich nor down on the poor, who can lose without squealing, who can win without bragging, who is considerate to women, children, and old people, who is too brave to lie and too generous to cheat and too sensible to loaf, who takes his share of the world’s goods and lets other people take theirs.
Charles Wiggins, II
HAMLET, as originally formatted:
Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion’d thought his act.
Be though familiar, but by no means vulgar.
The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.
Beware of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgement.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3 (Polonius’s advice to Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as they prepare to depart for London)
A man lacking self-respect is like a ship without a rudder – at the mercy of every storm besetting life’s course.
He becomes a plaything for fate and tosses helplessly on a sea of emotions and impulses and is a slave of every temptation.
And self-respect can only be forged on the anvil of self-discipline – where principles are formed and tempered with the white heat of ambition and the chilling waters of reason – and mental and physical stamina are wrought with labor and sweat.
A man’s honor should be his most cherished possession, once tarnished it can never again be wholly clean, once it is lost it can never again be regained in this life.
To evade the truth by word or deed, to be unclean in thought or action, to be unfaithful in performance of duty; these are broad and easy ways to the destruction of honor.
To uphold the truth, no matter what the cost, to be clean in mind and body, to be faithful to one’s trust; these are the sure and unfailing foundations of honor.
And it is well to remember that the keenest and most unsparing judges of one’s honor are one’s contemporaries.
CHARLES WIGGINS II
WHAT IS OUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS?
Some think of success as the gaining of riches, power, position or fame. A man who strives for these things as objectives and fails to attain them is generally looked upon as a failure, and if these things form the goal of his ambition, he deserves to be a failure for his ambitions are wholly selfish.
It is the man who seeks to be of service to his fellowmen, who extends the hand of friendship to all who are suffering or in need, who relegates worldly belongings and position to their proper spheres of service, who is truly successful and who will be remembered by his fellowmen with affection.
LETTER TO MRS. BIXBY
(November 21, 1864)
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.
But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
“When Nobody’s Looking” with the paragraphs restored:
WHEN NOBODY’S LOOKING . . .
By Jerome Weidman
“The measure of a man’s real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay
Some 30 years ago, in a public school on New York’s lower East Side, a Mrs. Manette O’Neil gave an arithmetic test to her third grade class. When the papers were marked she discovered that 12 boys had written down the identical wrong answer to an arithmetic problem.
There is nothing particularly new about cribbing on exams. Perhaps that is why Mrs. O’Neil did not even mention it. She merely asked the 12 boys to remain after the dismissal bell.
They did – with fear in their hearts. For they knew why Mrs. O’Neil wanted to see them after class. And they were right, but only in part.
Mrs. O’Neil asked no questions. She made no accusations. She parceled out no punishment.
As soon as she was alone with the guilty youngsters, Mrs. O’Neil wrote on the blackboard 21 words, together with the name of the great man who had composed them. The third-grade teacher then ordered her pupils to copy these words into their notebooks 100 times.
I don’t know about the other 11 boys. Speaking for the only one of the dozen with whom I am on intimate terms I can say this without hesitation: It was the most important single lesson of my life.
Few of us are asked to make the great decisions about committing nations or armies to battle. But all of us are called upon daily to make a host of purely personal decisions. Shall the contents of this wallet, found in the street, be pocketed or turned over to the police? Shall this order, which was intended for a rival be allowed to register its accidental addition to your sales quota?
Nobody will ever know. Nobody except you. But you have to live with yourself. And it is always better to live with someone you respect – because respect breeds confidence.
THE LAST WORDS OF CAPTAIN SCOTT (To Sir J.M. Barrie)
My Dear Barrie,
We are pegging it out in a very comfortless spot. Hoping this letter may be found and sent to you, I write a word of farewell. We are showing that Englishmen can still die with a bold spirit, fighting it out to the end. It will be known that we have accomplished our object in reaching the Pole, and that we have done everything possible, even to sacrificing ourselves in order to save sick companions.
I am not at all afraid of the end, but sad to miss many a humble pleasure which I had planned for the future on our long marches.
I may not have proved a great explorer, but we have done the greatest march ever made and come near to great success.
Goodbye, my dear friend,
Later (in the same note) – We are very near the end, but have not and will not lose our good cheer. We have had four days of storm in our tent, and nowhere’s food or fuel. We did intend to finish ourselves when things proved like this, but we have decided to die naturally in the track.
RELIGION IN THE SCHOOL
L.J. Jacks Contemporary English Philosopher
Not long ago I met one of our great schoolmasters – a veteran in that high service. “Where in your timetable do you teach religion?” I asked him. “We teach it all day long,” he answered. “We teach it in arithmetic, by accuracy. We teach it in language, by learning to say what we mean – ‘yea, yea and nay, nay!’ We teach it in history, by humanity. We teach it in geography, by the breadth of mind. We teach it in handicraft, by thoroughness. We teach it in the playground, by fair play. We teach it in kindness to animals, by courtesy to servants, by good manners to one another, and by truthfulness in all things. We teach it by showing the children that we, their elders, are their friends and not their enemies.” Do you talk much to them about religion?” I then asked. “Not much” he said, “just enough to bring the whole thing to a point now and then.” Finally he added a remark that struck me – “I do not want religion,” he said, “brought into this school from outside. What we have of it we grow ourselves.”
And “Casey” has stanzas:
CASEY AT THE BAT
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, “If only Casey could but get a whack at that—
We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.”
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despisèd, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.
Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile lit Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Casey at the bat.
Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.
With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, “Strike two!”
“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.
The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.
Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.
And here is an ADDITIONAL reading:
(A Man’s Honor)
A MAN’S HONOR
A man’s honor should be his most cherished possession.
Once tarnished, it can never again be wholly clean.
Once it is lost, it can never again be regained in this life.
To evade the truth by word or deed,
to be unclean in thought or action,
to be unfaithful in performance of duty;
these are broad and easy ways to the destruction of honor.
To uphold the truth no matter what the cost,
to be clean in mind and body,
to be faithful to one’s trust;
these are the sure and unfailing foundations of honor.
And it is well to remember
that the keenest and most unsparing judges of one’s honor
are one’s contemporaries.
– Charles Wiggins, II
And don’t forget “If”.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- -and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- -nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And- -which is more- -you’ll be a Man, my son!
Lord, behold our family. We thank
Thee for the place in which we dwell;
for the love that unites us; for the
peace accorded us this day; for the
hope with which we expect the morrow;
for the health, the work, the food
that make our lives delightful;
for our friends.
Give us courage, gaiety and the quiet
mind. Spare to us our friends, soften
to us our enemies. Bless us in all our
innocent endeavors. Give us the strength
to encounter that which is to come,
that we may be brave in peril, constant
in tribulation, temperate in wrath
and in all changes of fortune,
and down to the gates of death,
loyal and loving one to another.
-Robert Louis Stevenson
The Seven Sins of the World
wealth without work
pleasure without conscience
knowledge without character
commerce without morality
science without humanity
worship without sacrifice
politics without principle
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Worth of a Man
Not “How did he die?” but “How did he live?”
Not “What did he gain?” but “What did he give?”
Not “What was his station?” but “Had he a heart?”
And “How did he play his God-given part?”
Not “What was his shrine?” nor “What was his creed?”
But “Had he befriended those really in need?”
Not “What did the piece in the newspaper say?”
But “How many were sorry when he passed away?”
Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while the silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Written in late 1941 by 19-year-old Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., an American serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Britain.
Soon after, in December of 1941, he was killed when his Spitfire collided with another plane over England.
A Gaelic Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back;
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May the Lord hold you
In the hollow of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the warm rays of the sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be nnear.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
Gone From My Sight
I am standing at the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”
And that is death.
by Henry Van Dyke
Excerpt from ULYSSES, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:
There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.