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PLAIN TALK – MANNERS
WILLIAM GARDINER, A. M.
THIN PAPER EDITION
WILLIAM RUTH PUBLISHING COMPANY
P.O. Box 1148
PREFACE The object of this book is to make people think, inspire them to seek higher things, and avoid some of the needless pitfalls. The impatient over-ambitious youth is likely to do many things that he will want to undo after it is too late. A person with too much ambition is like a steam boiler with no outlet; both usually blow up. A person should not stay in a rut, but he wants to be sure that he is in one before pulling loose.
"The man who once most wisely said,
Be sure you're wrong before you quit.” Some people say that it is impossible to put an old head on a boy; therefore it is useless to call his attention to the grave problems ahead of him. Others say that boyhood is the period to have a good time and that it is absolutely absurd to rob a boy of his pleasant thoughts to get him to think seriously about the future. There may be some truth in these contentions, but most of the poor boys who have risen began early. G. F. Swift began buying and selling chickens when he was nine years old. William Wrigley, Jr., became a traveling salesman and sold soap to merchants when he was thirteen years old. When Jay Gould was fourteen years old, he left home and earned more money than he spent. Cyrus H. K. Curtis was a successful paper salesman at twelve. known fact that most of the sons of widows who have to help make the living from early childhood make good. It is a known fact also that most of the sons of widows who let their mothers make the living and wait on them do not make good. The preacher's boy who does odd jobs and saves his money usually makes good, and the same may be said of the
It is a
paper boy who devises different schemes to sell his papers. It is far better to have a little enjoyment all through life than it is to have all of it in one's boyhood days.
It is very essential that one should be trained to take advantage of business opportunities, and it is just as essential that one should acquire habits that will cause him to spend his leisure profitably. If he spends his leisure in vice dens, his chances for success are very much diminished; but if he spends his leisure in study and self-improvement, his chances for success are very much enhanced. Many things enter in to cause success or failure, but it is often the little things that count most. These little things are so important that the writer has undertaken in Part I to list a number of them that may add to or detract from one's chance of making good.
The use of good manners is a very important asset. The blustering, blundering fellow goes through life offending people without being able to change his disposition. Sometimes he sees his mistakes and worries very much about them, but that does not undo the injury that has been done or keep him from offending some one else. He is handicapped, and he knows that he is; but he just cannot do any better. The trouble is he waited too long to try to form new habits. One should form the habit of using good manners as early in life as possible. Knowing what to do on the most frequent occasions is so important that Part II of this book is devoted to manners.
There are all kinds of schemes, devices, and courses on the market telling one just how to succeed. The writer has analyzed many of these courses, and the good things are found in this book. The biographies of successful men, in most cases, offer more concrete material on how to be successful than all of these courses. One should know how some of the most successful men went about to win success. The study of the lives of successful men is so essential that Part III of this book has been devoted to biographies.
Sometimes a little inspiration may kindle the fires of ambition. Many people can point back to the story, address, poem, or quotation that inspired them to do something worth while. Inspiration counts for so much that Part IV of this book has been devoted to inspirational poems, preachments, and quotations.
This book may be read by students in vocational guidance courses or by individuals who are doing practical work in the university of hard knocks. The writer has spent several years analyzing the causes of success and failure, and this book is the result of that research. If it saves one soul from the alms house, the writer will feel that he has been well paid for his labor.
The writer wishes to acknowledge his appreciation for the services rendered him by the firms that so willingly sent material concerning the lives of their founders. In addition to other material some of the firms sent magazine clippings from such magazines as American Magazine, The Economist, Success, Iron Trade Review, Printer's Ink, Forbes and System.
Acknowledgment to publishers and authors for permission to reprint in this book material which they control is inade below:
W. B. Conkey Company, the authorized publisher of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poems, for the poems and quotations reprinted in this book.
Barse & Hopkins—“The Welcome Man” from Walt Mason, His Book, and “Discontented.”.
The Reilly & Lee Company—“The World is Against Me" from Just Plain Folks, and “It Couldn't Be Done” by Edgar A. Guest.
Houghton Mifflin Company for the poems and quotations from Longfellow, Emerson, Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, Saxe, and Franklin. The extracts from Poor Richard's Almanac are taken from one of the R. L. S. Series.
George Sully & Company—“If You Can't Go Over or Under, Go Round” from It Can Be Done, copyrighted, 1921.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Company—“The House by the Side of the Road” from Dreams in Homespun by Sam Walter Foss.
Harr Wagner Publishing Company—“Columbus," and "To Those Who Fail” by Joaquin Miller.