merican parents, as a rule,
put in two extreme classes, those
who render the children insuffer-
ably conceited and unbearable by
overestimating their abilities and
overpraising their achievements,
and those who render them morbid and self-de-
preciating by a lack of wholesome praise.
It is rare indeed, when we find parents wise
and sensible enough to strengthen the best that
is in their children by discreet praise, and at the
same time to control the undesirable qualities by
and kind criticism.
I heard a grandmother not long ago telling
callers in the presence of a small boy what a
naughty, bad child he was, and how impossible
it seemed to make him mind, and the harvest is sure
to be sorrow.
I have heard parents and older children
expatiate on the one stupid trait and the one
plain feature of a bright and handsome child,
intending to keep it from forming too good an
opinion of itself.
To all young people I would say, cultivate
a belief in yourself. Base it on self-respect and
confidence in God's love for his own handiwork.
Say to yourself, "I will be what I will to be."
Not because your human will is all powerful,
but because the Divine will is back of you.
Analyze your own abilities and find what you
are best fitted to do.
Then set about the task of doing your chosen
work to the very best of your ability, and do not
for an instant doubt your own capabilities.
Perhaps they may be dwarfed and enfeebled by
years of morbid thought; but if you persist in a
self-respecting and self-reliant and God-trusting
course of thinking your powers will increase and
your capabilities strengthen.
It is no easy matter to overcome a habit of
It is like straightening out a limb which has
been twisted by a false attitude or correcting a
habit of sitting round-shouldered.
It requires a steady and persistent effort.
When the depressing and doubtful thoughts
come drive them away like malaria-breeding
insects. Say, "This is not complimentary to my
Maker. I am His work. I must be worthy of
my own respect and of that of others. I must
and will succeed."
The Heart of the New Thought by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
Chicago : The Psychic Research Company, c1902.