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soldiers. When General Pershing addressed the first troops ready to sail for France, he said:
You are going into France and Belgium to help expel an invading army. Your first duty is to be soldiers, but your second duty, scarcely less important, is to help all who are poor and weak. You will therefore be courteous to all women, and you will never have even a thought of what is evil or immoral. You will, therefore, abstain from the use of wine and liquor, and you will especially be very kind to little children. You will fear God and honor your country and win the world to liberty. God bless you and keep you.
To call on our soldiers to "help all who are poor and weak” and to “be very kind to little children” was summoning them to the service that makes true greatness. If you will take a list of the great men of all nations and all ages, you will find that those whom the people most honor today are the ones who performed some service for others. All the other kinds of beauty-landscape, paintings, Christmas trees, music-are sources of enjoyment, but they are only a means to an end. They all turn us toward the thing that is most beautiful, which, for the lack of a better word, we call service.
PROBLEMS AND EXERCISES
1. Read this chapter and the following one before you study the different sections. Each chapter is separate, and yet the two make a whole. Prepare an outline that shows this relation.
2. You have been asked to make brief outlines of all the preceding chapters. Re-read these to see how they all directly or indirectly point the way to this chapter.
3. The churches are one of the things in your community that suggest the kind of beauty that cannot be seen or touched. What are some of the other things ?
4. What is your definition of service? Without giving the names, except in the case of famous persons, tell of some of the beautiful acts of service of persons whom you know.
5. Paid service is never beautiful unless the person puts into it what can never be paid for. Illustrate this in the case of the nurse, the doctor, the policeman, the mayor, the president.
6. In every community there are persons who have given up careers in which they might have made conspicuous success in order to do some form of service for which they perhaps do not even get appreciation. Look about you to see if you can discover any such person.
7. Can you think of anyone so poor or unfortunate that he cannot have something beautiful in his life? Discuss some of the ways that the blind, the crippled, and other unfortunate persons can get some beauty in their lives. Turn back to Chapter XIII and read what is said about preparing printed matter for the blind, and show how this can be made a work of service.
8. If a person's work is distasteful to him, how can he balance this with the beautiful? If one's place of work and the home are unattractive, what opportunities are there for getting in touch with the beautiful ?
9. Have you mastered any one beautiful thing? If so, you can write out an account of this. If you have not, make a choice of something to master and prepare a little plan of the steps you shall take to accomplish this. Start a leaf for this in your notebook. A list of the things selected by the class will be written on the board, so that each may make note of them.
10. Make a list of some of the beautiful things in your community, then study each to see whether its effect on you is merely to give you pleasure or to make you want to do something fine. What books or poems have you read that have been stimulating?
11. Turn back to Chapters VI and XVI, where certain community activities are discussed. Which of these do or can be made to contribute to the service side of living? Show how this may be accomplished.
LOOKING BACKWARD AND FORWARD
1. America's Work is never finished. No person can understand the present or plan for the future unless he realizes that he is part of a world that moment by moment is changing. If it were a finished world, a finished nation, or a finished community in which we found ourselves, life would be merely getting-getting the most possible out of what the past centuries have created and passed on to us. But nothing is finished.
Year after year the planet on which we live changes, and human beings cannot stop the changes. Some of the changes come swiftly and terribly and are visible to us all. There are tidal waves that destroy towns and cities, that pick up monster ships and hurl them onto dry land as if they were toys; there are tornadoes that twist stone lighthouses into masses of broken pieces, and volcanoes that bury whole cities under the melted earth. Other changes take place so slowly that they are invisible to most of us. More fascinating than any book of fiction is the tale of the imperceptible rise and fall of mountains, seas, and islands. Within recent centuries the unknown forces within the earth have shifted one of the mountain ranges of the Alps so that it has advanced seven meters toward the west and north. Hundreds of square miles of California were once deep under the waters of the Pacific. The great transformer was the waters that swept through the Grand Cañon to the sea. It was a simple process. The wind rolled into clouds moisture gathered from the sea; the clouds, driven by the winds to the mountains, were chilled and turned into rain, which filled the mountain streams that poured their water into the Grand Cañon. Each stream carried in its noisy waters bits of rocks and soil that sun and frost had broken from the mountain tops. These pieces of
rock and soil are what continents are made of, and after many thousands of years the mountains of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah gave up to the ocean enough of themselves to form a large part of California. No human being can stop this ceaseless wearing away of mountains.
The part of the world that is made up of trees, rocks, rivers, mountains, lakes, oceans, is changing constantly even if we cannot see the changes. It is the same with the world of nations and of people. Things can never be "as they used to be," no matter how much we may wish it. What one of our thinkers said many years ago is true:
Of no use are the men who study to do exactly as was done before, who can never understand that today is a new day. We want men ... who ... can live in the moment and take a step forward.
2. There are Forces in the United States Stronger than Any One Person. The farmer who said: "What does the owner of land count for? What do I count for? The wheat is a force. Neither I nor any man can stop it or contest it,” was partly right and partly wrong. Even the humblest person can help bring about miracles that we once thought could happen only in fairyland. But there are forces overwhelmingly great-forces that seem to determine, in spite of ourselves, the direction in which we shall go. When in 1883 the wheat growers in southern California bitterly fought to keep the Southern Pacific Railroad from running its line through their lands, they did not realize that not all the men in the wheat areas of the world could hold back the steady progress of the railroads. The railroads were a force-a force that in spite of the injury wrought to a few persons was to make the nation more prosperous and millions of people happier. The iron had been discovered, the water power of the rivers was waiting to be used, men's sleepless brains had invented processes for making steel and using steam. The great, inevitable force that makes men live and breathe and think made the railroads.
One of the men who helped to build up the great steel industry of the United States showed that he understood this force when he said:
The Steel Company is not the creation of any one man, nor, indeed, of any set of men. ... The demands of modern life called for such work as ours; and if we had not met the demands, others would have done so. Even without us the steel industry of the country would have been just as great as it is, though men would have used other names in speaking of its leaders.
No one man or group of men is necessary to run steel mills or railroads or steamships. All these belong to the age in which we live, and until their usefulness goes, or until some force greater than these supersedes them, they will remain. It is not for men to battle against the forces that are a part of the period in which we live, but to learn how best to use these forces.
3. These Irresistible Forces are Men. It may at first seem as if the irresistible forces that we have said sweep men and nations with them make mere tools of men. This is not so, for these forces are the deeds of men. It is what the men of the past centuries have done, added to what the men of today are doing, that determines what we shall eat, wear, and do. The laws which men are now passing, the inventions they are now working out, the plans for new businesses they are now making, all are rapidly changing the world that seems to you so slow and unchangeable.
Pupils can compute how much men earn in dollars, how many shoes they make in a day, how many tons of coal they shovel in a day, etc.; but how much the men of 1914-1918 changed the world of 1918, or how much the young people of today will have changed the world ten years from now, is beyond the power of mathematicians to compute. All we know surely is that the changes are inevitable. It is this immeasurable force that we have been describing on the preceding pages. When we spoke of the railroads as a force that all the farmers of southern Cali