Expect the Unexpected
Love of Country
Finding a friend for life
Dreams and Daydreams
As you grow older...
...It is important to have ideals – and why not high ones, then? – because an ideal serves like a lighthouse to the ship on a dark and stormy sea. But your daddy does not want to pose as your ideal; he only gives you a wide choice, and expects you to choose wisely, and has given here a few tips on how to do that.
Coming finally to the question of whether aspiring for greatness could make life boring or difficult or dangerous, I will make bold to claim that the truth is quite the contrary. Of course, the kind of self-disciplining that is needed is very difficult and perhaps even ‘boring’ (to a certain type of mentality: the same type that never masters basic math because she finds routine practice too boring!) in the initial stages – this I have discussed already – but it becomes easier as you persist, and the rewards keep multiplying, so why should you take the wrong way? We have been told by the wise that the primrose path, the apparently easy way, the way most people choose, leads ultimately to hell, and I have explained, in very practical, worldly terms, what hell really means. Who but a fool would deliberately choose hell? As for danger, yes, danger there well might be, in worldly terms, but this, too, I have answered; those who are rising towards greatness learn automatically in the process to ignore danger, knowing that everything in life, everything material, is transitory anyway. They do not invite danger by being careless or aggressive, maybe, but when it comes as a natural consequence of what they consider essential to do, they face it without flinching: whether they survive or not, they are catapulted towards greatness in the process. Thus is history made, thus glorious lives lived, and only thus is the world infinitesimally bettered every time.
So ‘hitch your wagon to a star’, as Emerson urged every one of us to do, and live life richly every day. Just try to be never less than the best you can be at anything you are doing, and never do or say something against which your essential being revolts. You don’t have to aim at greatness consciously; most great men didn’t, it will come to you if you are fated for it. Five or six decades from now, you might admit to yourself that daddy didn’t give you bad advice after all!