Observation: every man his own university
|Russell Herman Conwell|
People are thinking, but they can think much more. The housewife is thinking about the chemical changes caused by heat in meats, vegetables, and liquids. The sailor thinks about the gold in sea-water, the soldier thinks of smokeless powder and muffled guns; the puddler meditates on iron squeezers and electric furnaces; the farmer admires Luther Burbank's magical combinations in plant life; the school-girl examines the composition of her pencil and analyses the writing-paper; the teacher studies psychology at first hand; the preacher understands more of the life that now is; the merchant and manufacturers give more attention to the demand.
Yes, we are all thinking. But we are still thinking too far away; even the prism through which we see the stars is near the eyes. The dentist is thinking too much about other people's teeth. This book is sent out to induce people to look at their own eyes, to pick up the gold in their laps, to study anatomy under the tutorship of their own hearts.
One could accumulate great wisdom and secure fortunes by studying his own fingernails. This lesson seems the very easiest to learn, and for that reason is the most difficult. The lecture, "The Silver Crown," which the author has been giving in various forms for fifty years, is herein printed from a stenographic report of one address on this general subject. It will not be found altogether, as a lecture, for this book is an attempt to give further suggestion on the many different ways in which the subject has been treated, just as the lecture has varied in its illustrations from time to time.
The lecture was addressed to the ear. This truth, which amplifies the lecture, is addressed to the eye. I have been greatly assisted, and sometimes superseded, in the preparation of these pages by Prof. James F. Willis, of Philadelphia. Bless him! My hope is by this means to reach a larger audience even than that which has heard some of the things herein so many times in the last forty-five years. We do not hope to give or sell anything to the reader.
He has enough already. But many starve with bread in their mouths. They spit it out and weep for food. Humans are a strange collection. But they can be induced to think much more accurately and far more efficiently. This book is sent out as an aid to closer observation and more efficient living.
Russell Herman Conwell was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, as the Pastor of The Baptist Temple, and for his inspirational lecture, "Acres of Diamonds"
Observation--the key to success.--Who the real leaders are.--Mastering natural forces.--Whom mankind shall love.--Need of orators.--Woman's influence.--Every man's university.--Animals and "the least things."--The bottom rung.--Home reading.--Thoughtfulness.--Instincts and individuality.--Women.--Musical culture.--Oratory.--Self-help.--Some advice to young men
Publication date: (1917)
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