You may plan to write a book someday, but you are living a book every
day. The Great Biographer is writing the book of your life on the
pages of time. Each day is a page. Each year is a chapter.
Visualize yourself striding through the pages of time.
Are you hero or villain? Are you big and fine, tolerant, hopeful,
courageous, cheerful, and helpful? Or are you little, petty,
jealous, spiteful? See your life spread out before you in print, in
the pages of a book. Would that book be a best seller, attracting
people to you, or would it be a book you would wish to suppress? Go
off into some quiet spot and think of the pages of your book which you
have already lived. Are you proud of those pages? Can you
improve the chapters that are to follow? Can you make the ending
better than the beginning?
See the words you speak recorded in your book. See the
deeds you do between the covers of the volume that is your life.
Moment by moment you are building the story of your life. You
control your thoughts and acts as an author of a novel controls the
thoughts and actions of the characters in his story. No matter what
happens to you in the pages of time, you have the power to react like a
Alexander Dumas wrote: "All the world cries:
'Where is the man who will save us?' Don't look so far for this man;
you have him at hand. This man, it is you, it is I, it is each one
The reason progress is slow is that we always expect
other men to be the heroes and to live the heroic lives. But we all
have hero stuff in us. In our sphere of life we can always live more
heroically and triumphantly, and grow in heroic stature.
Our task is to discover the heroic qualities in
ourselves. James Whitcomb Riley, the poet, once said, "When you
awaken some morning and hear that somebody or other has been discovered,
you can put it down as a fact that he discovered himself years ago--since
that time he has been toiling, working, and striving to make himself
worthy of general discovery."
Explore your mind, discover
yourself, then give the best that is in you to your age and to your
world. There are heroic possibilities waiting to be discovered in
To be a hero, it is not necessary to climb Mount Everest, or
lead an army to victory. There is opportunity for heroic living in
the humblest spots on earth--in your business, in your home, in your
church, in your school, and in your village, town, or city. . . .
When a man thinks of being a hero he often thinks of riding a
white charger and saving a maiden in distress. Actually, however,
his heroic living should begin in his own home. The pages of his
book that tell of his home life should be radiant with heroic living.
"The place to take the test of a man," wrote
William Cowper Brann, "is not the forum or the field, not the market
place or the amen corner, but at his own fireside. There he lays
aside his mask and you may judge whether he is imp or angel, king or cur,
hero or humbug. I care not what the world says of him, whether it
crown him with bays or pelt him with eggs; I care never a copper
what his reputation or religion may be; if his children dread his
homecoming and his better half has to swallow her heart every time she
asks him for a five dollar bill, he's a fraud of the first water, even
though he prays night and morn until he is black in the face. But if
his children rush to the front gate to meet him, and love's own sunshine
illumines the face of his wife when she hears his footsteps, you may take
it for granted that he is true gold, for his home's a heaven and the
humbug never got that close to the great white throne of God."
Few of us will do the spectacular deeds of heroism that
spread themselves across the pages of our newspapers in big black
headlines. But we can all be heroic in the little things of everyday
life. We can do the helpful things, say the kind words, meet our
difficulties with courage and high hearts, stand up for the right when the
cost is high, keep our word even though it means sacrifice, be a giver
instead of a destroyer. Often this quiet, humble heroism is the
greatest heroism of all. It is the heroism of true greatness. . . .
You are the hero of your book and it is up to you to think
and live like a hero. Day by day your book grows toward the
completed volume of your life story. You can't do anything about the
part of your book already written; that must stand. But look at
those glorious white pages ahead!