|For My Cousins||"Stranded," by Florence Birkholz [continued from previous page] & "Occupation," by Mary Ann||
|1915 Westfield High School Yearbook - Page 36
(Marquette Co., Wisconsin)
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["Stranded" -- continued from prior page]
The ferocious beast made a quick high spring, but Carl was prepared. His sharp pointed stick met the tiger's throat, cutting a deep gash. The beast fell lifeless to the ground and Carl soon fell asleep again, dreaming pleasant dreams of being rescued.
Florence Birkholz, '15
The man who has no occupation is in a bad plight. If he is poor, want is ever pinching him; if he is rich, ennui is a more relentless tormentor than want. An unoccupied man cannot be happy, nor can one who has missed his calling. We have swarms of idlers among us, that is, men who pursue no useful occupation, or who sponge their way, thus enjoying some luxuries of life and living upon the hard earnings of others.
In this great country of ours no one need be without some useful occupation. All trades and professions are open, from the lowly station of the honest hod carrier, up to the very pinnacle of professional fame. Those occupations that require manual labor are surest, most healthful, and most independent.
Many of the young men waste a great portion of their early life in fruitless endeavor. They have no trade, no profession, no aim, and yet they may have a great desire to do something worthy of themselves. They have not the stimulus of a fixed purpose to hold their attention and awaken their dormant energies; not a known prize to win. An early choice of his vocation, devotion to it, and preparation for it, should be made by every youth. The secret of making desirable men is to put them at work and keep them honorably employed.
One caution to young people is to make sure of their talent. Too many look at a hundred things, when they should be looking steadily at one, and see it distinctly. This results in a large number of persons becoming disgusted with the vocations, getting their living by their weakness, rather than by their strength, and because of this they are doomed to inferiority. "If we choose to represent the various parts in life," says Sidney Smith, "by holes, in a table, of different shapes -- some circular, some triangular, some square, some oblong -- and the persons acting these parts by bits of wood of similar shapes, we shall generally find that the triangular person has got in to the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, while the square person has squeezed himself into the round hole."
No man ever makes an ill figure who understands his own talents. No youth of industry and perfect honesty need despair because his profession, or calling is crowded. Let him always remember that there is, "room at the top," and the question whether he is ever to reach the top will be decided by the way in which he improves the first ten years of his active life in securing to himself a thorough knowledge of his profession and a sound moral and intellectual culture.
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