NO man could
possibly read the Law
of Success philosophy,
even once, without
better prepared to
succeed in any calling.
– Elbert H. Gary
” You Can Do It if You Believe You Can!”
WITH this lesson we approach the apex of the pyramid
of this course on the Law of Success.
This lesson is the Guiding Star that will enable
you to use profitably and constructively the
knowledge assembled in the preceding lessons.
There is more power wrapped up in the preceding
lessons of this course than most men could trust
themselves with; therefore, this lesson is a governor
that will, if observed and applied, enable you to steer
your ship of knowledge over the rocks and reefs of
failure that usually beset the pathway of all who come
suddenly into possession of power.
For more than twenty-five years I have been
observing the manner in which men behave themselves
when in possession of power, and I have been forced
to the conclusion that the man who attains it in any
other than by the slow, step-by-step process, is
constantly in danger of destroying himself and all
whom he influences.
It must have become obvious to you, long before
this, that this entire course leads to the attainment of
power of proportions which may be made to perform
the seemingly “impossible.” Happily, it becomes
apparent that this power can only be attained by the
observance of many fundamental principles all of
which converge in this lesson, which is based upon a
law that both equals and transcends in importance
every other law outlined in the preceding lessons.
Likewise, it becomes apparent to the thoughtful
student that this power can endure only by faithful
observance of the law upon which this lesson is based,
wherein lies the “safety-valve” that protects the
careless student from the dangers of his own follies;
and protects, also, those whom he might endanger if
he tried to circumvent the injunction laid down in this
To “prank” with the power that may be attained
from the knowledge wrapped up in the preceding
lessons of this course, without a full understanding
and strict observance of the law laid down in this
lesson, is the equivalent of “pranking” with a power
which may destroy as well as create.
I am speaking, now, not of that which I suspect to
be true, but, of that which I KNOW TO BE TRUE!
The truth upon which this entire course, and this
lesson in particular, is founded, is no invention of
mine. I lay no claim to it except that of having
observed its unvarying application in the every-day
walks of life over a period of more than twenty-five
years of struggle; and, of having appropriated as much
of it as, in the light of my human frailties and
weaknesses, I could make use of.
If you demand positive proof of the soundness of
the laws upon which this course in general, and this
lesson in particular, is founded, I must plead inability
to offer it except through one witness, and that is
You may have positive proof only by testing and
applying these laws for yourself.
If you demand more substantial and authoritative
evidence than my own, then I am privileged to refer
you to the teachings and philosophy of Christ, Plato,
Socrates, Epictetus, Confucius, Emerson and two of
the more modern philosophers, James and
Miinsterberg, from whose works I have appropriated
all that constitutes the more important fundamentals
of this lesson, with the exception of that which I have
gathered from my own limited experience.
For more than four thousand years men have been
preaching the Golden Rule as a suitable rule of
conduct among men, but unfortunately the world bas
accepted the letter while totally missing the spirit of
this Universal Injunction. We have accepted the
Golden Rule philosophy merely as a sound rule of
ethical conduct but we have failed to understand the
law upon which it is based.
I have heard the Golden Rule quoted scores of
times, but I do not recall having ever heard an
explanation of the law upon which it is based, and not
until recent years did I understand that law, from
which I am led to believe that those who quoted it did
not understand it.
The Golden Rule means, substantially, to do unto
others as you would wish them to do unto you if your
positions were reversed.
But why? What is the real reason for this kindly
consideration of others?
The real reason is this:
There is an eternal law through the operation of
which we reap that which we sow. When you select
the rule of conduct by which you guide yourself in
your transactions with others, you will be fair and
just, very likely, if you know that you are setting into
motion, by that selection, a power that will run its
course for weal or woe in the lives of others,
returning, finally, to help or to hinder you, according
to its nature.
“Whatsoever a man soweth that shall be also
It is your privilege to deal unjustly with others,
but, if you understand the law upon which the Golden
Rule is based, you must know that your unjust
dealings will “come home to roost.”
If you fully understood the principles described
in Lesson Eleven, on accurate thought, it will be quite
easy for you to understand the law upon which the
Golden Rule is based. You cannot pervert or change
the course of this law, but you can adapt yourself to
its nature and thereby use it as an irresistible power
that will carry you to heights of achievement which
could not be attained without its aid.
This law does not stop by merely flinging back
upon you your acts of injustice and unkindness toward
others; it goes further than this – much further – and
returns to you the results of every thought that you
Therefore, not alone is it advisable to “do unto
others as you wish them to do unto you,” but to avail
yourself fully of the benefits of this great Universal
Law you must “think of others as you wish them to
think of you.”
The law upon which the Golden Rule is based
begins affecting you, either for good or evil, the
moment you release a thought. It has amounted almost
to a world-wide tragedy that people have not generally
understood this law. Despite the simplicity of the law
it is practically all there is to be learned that is of
enduring value to man, for it is the medium through
which we become the masters of our own destiny.
Understand this law and you understand all that
the Bible has to unfold to you, for the Bible presents
one unbroken chain of evidence in support of the fact
that man is the maker of his own destiny; and, that his
thoughts and acts are the tools with which he does the
During ages of less enlightenment and tolerance
than that of the present, some of the greatest thinkers
the world has ever produced have paid with their lives
for daring to uncover this Universal Law so that it
might be understood by all. In the light of the past
history of the world, it is an encouraging bit of
evidence, in support of the fact that men are gradually
throwing off the veil of ignorance and intolerance, to
note that I stand in no danger of bodily harm for
writing that which would have cost me my life a few
While this course deals with the highest laws of
the universe, which man is capable of interpreting, the
aim, nevertheless, has been to show how these laws
EVERY man takes care that
his neighbor does not cheat
him. But a day comes when
he begins to care that he
does not cheat his neighbor.
Then all goes well. He has
changed his market cart
into a chariot of the sun.
may be used in the practical affairs of life. With this
object of practical application in mind, let us now
proceed to analyze the effect of the Golden Rule
through the following incident.
THE POWER OF PRAYER
“No,” said the lawyer, “I shan’t press your claim
against that man; you can get someone else to take the
case, or you can withdraw it; just as you please.”
“Think there isn’t any money in it?”
“There probably would be some little money in it,
but it would come from the sale of the little house that
the man occupies and calls his home! But I don’t want
to meddle with the matter, anyhow.”
“Got frightened out of it, eh?”
“Not at all.”
“I suppose likely the fellow begged hard to be let off?”
“Well, yes, he did.”
“And you caved in, likely?”
“What in creation did you do?”
“I believe I shed a few tears.”
“And the old fellow begged you hard, you say?”
“No, I didn’t say so; he didn’t speak a word to me.”
“Well, may I respectfully inquire whom he did
address in your hearing?”
“Ah, he took to praying, did he?”
“Not for my benefit, in the least. You see, I found
the little house easily enough and knocked on the
outer door, which stood ajar; but nobody heard me, so
I stepped into the little hall and saw through the crack
of a door a cozy sitting-room, and there on the bed,
with her silver head high on the pillows, was an old
lady who looked for all the world just like my mother
did the last time I ever saw her on earth. Well, I was
on the point of knocking, when she said: ‘Come,
father, now begin; I’m all ready.’ And down on his
knees by her side went an old, white-haired man, still
older than his wife, I should judge, and I couldn’t
have knocked then, for the life of me. Well, he began.
First, he reminded God they were still His submissive
children, mother and he, and no matter what He saw
fit to bring upon them they shouldn’t rebel at His will.
Of course ’twas going to be very hard for them to go
out homeless in their old age, especially with poor
mother so sick and helpless, and, oh! how different it
all might have been if only one of the boys had been
spared. Then his voice kind of broke, and a white hand
stole from under the coverlet and moved softly over
his snowy hair. Then he went on to repeat that nothing
could be so sharp again as the parting with those three
sons – unless mother and he should be separated.
“But, at last, he fell to comforting himself with
the fact that the dear Lord knew that it was through no
fault of his own that mother and he were threatened
with the loss of their dear little home, which meant
beggary and the alms-house – a place they prayed to
be delivered from entering if it should be consistent
with God’s will. And then he quoted a multitude of
promises concerning the safety of those who put their
trust in the Lord. In fact, it was the most thrilling plea
to which I ever listened. And at last, he prayed for
God’s blessing on those who were about to demand
The lawyer then continued, more lowly than ever:
“And I – believe – I’d rather go to the poor-house
myself tonight than to stain my heart and hands with
the blood of such a prosecution as that.”
“Little afraid to defeat the old man’s prayer, eh?”
“Bless your soul, man, you couldn’t defeat it!”
said the lawyer. “I tell you he left it all subject to the
will of God; but he claimed that we were told to make
known our desires unto God; but of all the pleadings I
ever heard that beat all. You see, I was taught that
kind of thing myself in my childhood. Anyway, why
was I sent to bear that prayer? I am sure I don’t know,
but I hand the case over.”
“I wish,” said the client, twisting uneasily, “you
hadn’t told me about the old man’s prayer.”
“Well, because I want the money the place would
bring; but I was taught the Bible straight enough when
I was a youngster and I’d hate to run counter to what
you tell about. I wish you hadn’t heard a word about
it, and, another time, I wouldn’t listen to petitions not
intended for my ears.”
The lawyer smiled.
“My dear fellow,” he said, “you’re wrong again.
It was intended for my ears, and yours, too; and God
Almighty intended it. My old mother used to sing
about God’s moving in a mysterious way, as I
“Well, my mother used to sing it, too,” said the
claimant, as he twisted the claim-papers in his fingers.
“You can call in the morning, if you like, and tell
‘mother’ and ‘him’ the claim has been met.”
“In a mysterious way,” added the lawyer, smiling.
Neither this lesson nor the course of which it id a
part is based upon an appeal to maudlin sentiment, but
there can be no escape from the truth that success, in
its highest and noblest form, brings one, finally, to
view all human relationships with a feeling of deep
emotion such as that which this lawyer felt when he
overheard the old man’s prayer.
It may be an old-fashioned idea, but somehow I
can’t get away from the belief that no man can attain
success in its highest form without the aid of earnest
Prayer is the key with which one may open the
secret doorway referred to in Lesson Eleven. In this
age of mundane affairs, when the uppermost thought
of the majority of people id centered upon the
accumulation of wealth, or the struggle for a mere
existence, it is both easy and natural for us to
overlook the power of earnest prayer.
I am not saying that you should resort to prayer
as a means of solving your daily problems which press
for immediate attention; no, I am not going that far in
a course of instruction which will be studied largely
by those who are seeking in it the road to success that
is measured in dollars; but, may I not modestly
suggest to you that you, at least, give prayer a trial
after everything else fails to bring you a satisfying
Thirty men, red-eyed and disheveled, lined up
before the judge of the San Francisco police court. It
was the regular morning company of drunks and did-
orderlies. Some were old and hardened; others hung
their beads in shame. Just as the momentary disorder
attending the bringing in of the prisoners quieted
down, a strange thing happened. A strong, clear voice
from below began singing:
“Last night I lay a-sleeping,
There came a dream so fair.”
“Last night!” It had been for them all a nightmare
or a drunken stupor. The song was such a contrast to
the horrible fact that no one could fail of a sudden
shock at the thought the song suggested.
“I stood in old Jerusalem,
Beside the Temple there,”
the song went on. The judge had paused. He made a
quiet inquiry. A former member of a famous opera
company known all over the country was awaiting trial
for forgery. It was he who was singing in his cell.
Meantime the song went on, and every man in the
line showed emotion. One or two dropped on their
knees; one boy at the end of the line, after a desperate
effort at self-control, leaned against the wall, buried
his face against his folded arms, and sobbed, “Oh,
The sobs, cutting to the very heart the men who
heard, and the song, still welling its way through the
court-room, blended in the hush. At length one man
protested. “Judge,” said he, “have we got to submit
A trifling kindness here and there,
Is but a simple, small affair;
Yet if your life has sown this free,
Wide shall your happy harvest be.
to this? We’re here to take our punishment, but this -”
He, too, began to sob.
It was impossible to proceed with the business of
the court; yet the court gave no order to stop the song.
The police sergeant, after an effort to keep the men in
line, stepped back and waited with the rest. The song
moved on to its climax:
Sing, for the night is o’er!
Hosanna, in the highest!
Hosanna, for evermore!”
In an ecstasy of melody the last words rang out,
and then there was silence. The judge looked into the
faces of the men before him. There was not one who
was not touched by the song; not one in whom some
better impulse was not stirred. He did not call the
cases singly – a kind word of advice, and he dismissed
them all. No man was fined or sentenced to the work-
house that morning. The song had done more good
than punishment could possibly have accomplished.
You have read the story of a Golden Rule lawyer
and a Golden Rule judge. In these two commonplace
incidents of every-day life you have observed how the
Golden Rule works when applied.
A passive attitude toward the Golden Rule will
bring no results; it is not enough merely to believe in
the philosophy, while, at the same time, failing to
apply it in your relationships with others. If you want
results you must take an active attitude toward the
Golden Rule. A mere passive attitude, represented
by belief in its soundness, will avail you nothing.
Nor will it avail you anything to proclaim to the
world your belief in the Golden Rule while your
actions are not in harmony with your proclamation.
Conversely stated, it will avail you nothing to appear
to practice the Golden Rule, while, at heart, you are
willing and eager to use this universal law of right
conduct as a cloak to cover up a covetous and selfish
nature. Murder will out. Even the most ignorant
person will “sense” you for what you are.
“Human character does evermore publish itself. It
will not be concealed. It hates darkness – it rushes
into light. … I heard an experienced counselor say
that he never feared the effect upon a jury of a lawyer
who does not believe in his heart that his client ought
to have a verdict. If he does not believe it, his
unbelief will appear to the jury, despite all his
protestations, and will become their unbelief. This is
that law whereby a work of art, of whatever kind, sets
us in the same state of mind wherein the artist was
when he made it. That which we do not believe we
cannot adequately say, though we may repeat the
words ever so often. It was this conviction which
Swedenborg expressed when he described a group of
persons in the spiritual world endeavoring in vain to
articulate a proposition which they did not believe;
but they could not, though they twisted and folded
their lips even to indignation.
“A man passes for what he is worth. What he is
engraves itself on his face, on his form, on his
fortunes, in letters of light which all men may read
but himself.. ..If you would not be known to do
anything, never do it. A man may play the fool in the
drifts of a desert, but every grain of sand shall seem
to see.” -Emerson.
It is the law upon which the Golden Rule
philosophy is based to which Emerson has reference in
the foregoing quotation. It was this same law that he
had in mind when he wrote the following:
“Every violation of truth is not only a sort of
suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human
society. On the most profitable lie the course of
events presently lays a destructive tax; whilst
frankness proves to be the best tactics, for it invites
frankness, puts the parties on a convenient footing and
makes their business a friendship. Trust men and they
will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will
show themselves great, though they make an exception
in your favor to all their rules of trade.”
The Golden Rule philosophy is based upon a law
which no man can circumvent. This law is the same
law that is described in Lesson Eleven, on Accurate
Thought, through the operation of which one’s
thoughts are transformed into reality corresponding
exactly to the nature of the thoughts.
“Once grant the creative power of our thought and
there is an end of struggling for our own way, and an
end of gaining it at some one else’s expense; for, since
by the terms of the hypothesis we can create what we
like, the simplest way of getting what we want is, not
to snatch it from somebody else, but to make it for
ourselves; and, since there is no limit to thought there
can be no need for straining, and for everyone to have
his own way in this manner, would be to banish all
strife, want, sickness, and sorrow from the earth.”
“Now, it is precisely on this assumption of the
creative power of our thought that the whole Bible
rests. If not, what is the meaning of being saved by
Faith? Faith is essentially thought; and, therefore,
every call to have faith in God is a call to trust in the
power of our own thought about God. ‘According to
your faith be it unto you,’ says the Old Testament.
The entire book is nothing but one continuous
statement of the creative power of Thought.
“The Law of Man’s Individuality is, therefore, the
Law of Liberty, and equally it is the Gospel of peace;
for when we truly understand the law of our own
individuality, we see that the same law finds its
expression in everyone else; and, consequently, we
shall reverence the law in others exactly in proportion
as we value it in ourselves. To do this is to follow the
Golden Rule of doing to others what we would they
should do unto us; and because we know that the Law
of Liberty in ourselves must include the free use of
our creative power, there is no longer any inducement
to infringe the rights of others, for we can satisfy all
our desires by the exercise of our knowledge of the
“As this comes to be understood, co-operation
will take the place of competition, with the result of
removing all ground for enmity, whether between
individuals, classes, or nations….”
(The foregoing quotation is from Bible Mystery
and Bible Meaning by the late Judge T. Troward,
published by Robert McBride & Company, New York
City. Judge Troward was the author of several
interesting volumes, among them The Edinburgh Lec-
tures, which is recommended to all students of this course.)
If you wish to know what happens to a man when
he totally disregards the law upon which the Golden
Rule philosophy is based, pick out any man in your
community whom you know to live for the single
dominating purpose of accumulating wealth, and who
has no conscientious scruples as to how he
accumulates that wealth. Study this man and you will
observe that there is no warmth to his soul; there is no
kindness to his words; there is no welcome to his face.
He has become a slave to the desire for wealth; he is
too busy to enjoy life and too selfish to wish to help
others enjoy it. He walks, and talks, and breathes, but
he is nothing but a human automaton. Yet there are
many who envy such a man and wish that they might
occupy his position, foolishly believing him to be a
There can never be success without happiness,
and no man can be happy without dispensing
happiness to others. Moreover, the dispensation must
be voluntary and with no other object in view than
that of spreading sunshine into the hearts of those
whose hearts are heavy-laden with burdens.
George D. Herron had in mind the law upon
which the Golden Rule philosophy is based when he
“We have talked much of the brotherhood to
come; but brotherhood has always been the fact of our
life, long before it became a modern and inspired
sentiment. Only we have been brothers in slavery and
torment, brothers in ignorance and its perdition,
brothers in disease, and war, and want, brothers in
prostitution and hypocrisy. What happens to one of
NO idle person is ever
safe, whether he be rich
or poor, white or black,
educated or illiterate.
-Booker T. Washington.
us sooner or later happens to all; we have always been
unescapably involved in common destiny. The world
constantly tends to the level of the downmost man in
it; and that downmost man is the world’s real ruler,
hugging it close to his bosom, dragging it down to his
death. You do not think so, but it is true, and it ought
to be true. For if there were some way by which some
of us could get free, apart from others, if there were
some way by which some of us could have heaven
while others had hell, if there were some way by
which part of the world could escape some form of the
blight and peril and misery of disinherited labor, then
indeed would our world be lost and damned; but since
men have never been able to separate themselves from
one another’s woes and wrongs, since history is fairly
stricken with the lesson that we cannot escape
brotherhood of some kind, since the whole of life is
teaching us that we are hourly choosing between
brotherhood in suffering and brotherhood in good, it
remains for us to choose the brotherhood of a co-
operative world, with all its fruits thereof – the fruits
of love and liberty.”
The world war ushered us into an age of
cooperative effort in which the law of “live and let
live” stands out like a shining star to guide us in our
relationships with each other. This great universal call
for co-operative effort is taking on many forms, not
the least important of which are the Rotary Clubs, the
Kiwanis Clubs, the Lions Clubs and the many other
luncheon clubs which bring men together in a spirit of
friendly intercourse, for these clubs mark the
beginning of an age of friendly competition in
business. The next step will be a closer alliance of all
such clubs in an out-and-out spirit of friendly co-
The attempt by Woodrow Wilson and his
contemporaries to establish the League of Nations,
followed by the efforts of Warren G. Harding to give
footing to the same cause under the name of the World
Court, marked the first attempt in the history of the
world to make the Golden Rule effective as a common
meeting ground for the nations of the world.
There is no escape from the fact that the world
has awakened to the truth in George D. Herron’s
statement that “we are hourly choosing between
brotherhood in suffering and brotherhood in good.”
The world war has taught us – nay, forced upon us –
the truth that a part of the world cannot suffer without
injury to the whole world. These facts are called to
your attention, not in the nature of a preachment on
morality, but for the purpose of directing your
attention to the underlying law through which these
changes are being brought about. For more than four
thousand years the world has been thinking about the
Golden Rule philosophy, and that thought is now
becoming transformed into realization of the benefits
that accrue to those who apply it.
Still mindful of the fact that the student of this
course is interested in a material success that can be
measured by bank balances, it seems appropriate to
suggest here that all who will may profit by shaping
their business philosophy to conform with this
sweeping change toward co-operation which is taking
place all over the world.
If you can grasp the significance of the
tremendous change that has come over the world since
the close of the world war, and if you can interpret the
meaning of all the luncheon clubs and other similar
gatherings which bring men and women together in a
spirit of friendly co-operation, surely your
imagination will suggest to you the fact that this is an
opportune time to profit by adopting this spirit of
friendly co-operation as the basis of your own
business or professional philosophy.
Stated conversely, it must be obvious to all who
make any pretense of thinking accurately, that the
time is at hand when failure to adopt the Golden Rule
as the foundation of one’s business or professional
philosophy is the equivalent of economic suicide.
Perhaps you have wondered why the subject of
honesty has not been mentioned in this course, as a
prerequisite to success, and, if so, the answer will be
found in this lesson. The Golden Rule philosophy,
when rightly understood and applied, makes
dishonesty impossible. It does more than this – it
makes impossible all the other destructive qualities
such as selfishness, greed, envy, bigotry, hatred and
When you apply the Golden Rule, you become, at
one and the same time, both the judge and the judged –
the accused and the accuser. This places one in a
position in which honesty begins in one’s own heart,
toward one’s self, and extends to all others with equal
effect. Honesty based upon the Golden Rule is not the
brand of honesty which recognizes nothing but the
question of expediency.
It is no credit to be honest, when honesty is
obviously the most profitable policy, lest one lose a
good customer or a valuable client or be sent to jail
for trickery. But when honesty means either a
temporary or a permanent material loss, then it
becomes an honor of the highest degree to all who
practice it. Such honesty has its appropriate reward in
the accumulated power of character and reputation
enjoyed, by all who deserve it.
Those who understand and apply the Golden Rule
philosophy are always scrupulously honest, not alone
out of their desire to be just with others, but because:
of their desire to be just with themselves. They
understand the eternal law upon which the Golden
Rule is based, and they know that through the
operation of this law every thought they release and
every act in which they indulge has its counterpart in
some fact or circumstance with which they will later
Golden Rule philosophers are honest because they
understand the truth that honesty adds to their own
character that “vital something” which gives it life
and power. Those who understand the law through
which the Golden Rule operates would poison their
own drinking water as quickly as they would indulge
in acts of injustice to others, for they know that such
injustice starts a chain of causation that will not only
bring them physical suffering, but will destroy their
characters, stain for ill their reputations and render
impossible the attainment of enduring success.
The law through which the Golden Rule
philosophy operates is none other than the law through
which the principle of Auto-suggestion operates. This
statement gives you a suggestion from which you
should be able to make a deduction of a far-reaching
nature and of inestimable value.
Test your progress in the mastery of this course
by analyzing the foregoing statement and determining,
before you read on, what suggestion it offers you.
Of what possible benefit could it be to you to
know that when you do unto others as if you were the
others, which is the sum and substance of the Golden
Rule, you are putting into motion a chain of causation
through the aid of a law which affects the others
according to the nature of your act, and at the same
time planting in your character, through your
subconscious mind, the effects of that act?
This question practically suggests its own answer,
but as I am determined to cause you to think this vital
subject out for yourself I will put the question in still
another form, viz.:
If all your acts toward others, and even your
thoughts of others, are registered in your sub-
conscious mind, through the principle of Auto-
suggestion, thereby building your own character in
exact duplicate of your thoughts and acts, can you not
see how important it is to guard those acts and
We are now in the very heart of the real reason
for doing unto others as we would have them do unto
us, for it is obvious that whatever we do unto others
we do unto ourselves.
Stated in another way, every act and every
thought you release modifies your own character in
exact conformity with the nature of the act or thought,
and your character is a sort of center of magnetic
attraction which attracts to you the people and
conditions that harmonize with it.
You cannot indulge in an act toward another
person without having first created the nature of that
THERE is no defeat except from within.
There is really no insurmountable
barrier save your own inherent weakness of purpose.
act in your own thought, and you cannot release a
thought without planting the sum and substance and
nature of it in your own sub-conscious mind, there to
become a part and parcel of your own character.
Grasp this simple principle and you will
understand why you cannot afford to hate or envy
another person. You will also understand why you
cannot afford to strike back, in kind, at those who do
you an injustice. Likewise, you will understand the
injunction, “Return good for evil.”
Understand the law upon which the Golden Rule
injunction is based and you will understand, also, the
law that eternally binds all mankind in a single bond
of fellowship and renders it impossible for you to
injure another person, by thought or deed, without
injuring yourself; and, likewise, adds to your own
character the results of every kind thought and deed in
which you indulge.
Understand this law and you will then know,
beyond room for the slightest doubt, that you are
constantly punishing yourself for every wrong you
commit and rewarding yourself for every act of
constructive conduct in which you indulge.
It seems almost an act of Providence that the
greatest wrong and the most severe injustice ever done
me by one of my fellow men was done just as I began
this lesson. (Some of the students of this course will
know what it is to which I refer.)
This injustice has worked a temporary hardship
on me, but that is of little consequence compared to
the advantage it has given me by providing a timely
opportunity for me to test the soundness of the entire
premise upon which this lesson is founded.
The injustice to which I refer left two courses of
action open to me. I could have claimed relief by
“striking back” at my antagonist, through both civil
court action and criminal libel proceedings, or I could
have stood upon my right to forgive him. One course
of action would have brought me a substantial sum –
of money and whatever joy and satisfaction there may
be in defeating and punishing an enemy. The other
course of action would have brought me self-respect
which is enjoyed by those who have successfully met
the test and discovered that they have evolved to the
point at which they can repeat the Lord’s Prayer and
I chose the latter course. I did so, despite the
recommendations of close personal friends to “strike
back,” and despite the offer of a prominent lawyer to
do my “striking” for me without cost.
But the lawyer offered to do the impossible, for
the reason that no man can “strike back” at another
without cost. Not always is the cost of a monetary
nature, for there are other things with which one may
pay that are dearer than money.
It would be as hopeless to try to make one who
was not familiar with the law upon which the Golden
Rule is based understand why I refused to strike back
at this enemy as it would to try to describe the law of
gravitation to an ape. If you understand this law you
understand, also, why I chose to forgive my enemy.
In the Lord’s Prayer we are admonished to
forgive our enemies, but that admonition will fall on
deaf ears except where the listener understands the
law upon which it is based. That law is none other
than the law upon which the Golden Rule is based. It
is the law that forms the foundation of this entire
lesson, and through which we must inevitably reap
that which we sow. There is no escape from the
operation of this law, nor is there any cause to try to
avoid its consequences if we refrain from putting into
motion thoughts and acts that are destructive.
That we may more concretely describe the law
upon which this lesson is based, let us embody the law
in a code of ethics such as one who wishes to follow
literally the injunction of the Golden Rule might
appropriately adopt, as follows.
MY CODE OF ETHICS
I. I believe in the Golden Rule as the basis of all
human conduct; therefore, I will never do to another
person that which I would not be willing for that
person to do to me if our positions were reversed.
II. I will be honest, even to the slightest detail, in
all my transactions with others, not alone because of
my desire to be fair with them, but because of my
desire to impress the idea of honesty on my own
subconscious mind, thereby weaving this essential
quality into my own character.
III. I will forgive those who are unjust toward
me, with no thought as to whether they deserve it or
not, because I understand the law through which
forgiveness of others strengthens my own character
and wipes out the effects of my own transgressions, in
my subconscious mind.
IV. I will be just, generous and fair with others
always, even though I know that these acts will go
unnoticed and unrecorded, in the ordinary terms of
reward, because I understand and intend to apply the
law through the aid of which one’s own character is
but the sum total of one’s own acts and deeds.
V. Whatever time I may have to devote to the
discovery and exposure of the weaknesses and faults
of others I will devote, more profitably, to the
discovery and correction of my own.
VI. I will slander no person, no matter how much
I may believe another person may deserve it, because I
wish to plant no destructive suggestions in my own
VII. I recognize the power of Thought as being an
inlet leading into my brain from the universal ocean of
life; therefore, I will set no destructive thoughts afloat
upon that ocean lest they pollute the minds of others.
VIII. I will conquer the common human tendency
toward hatred, and envy, and selfishness, and
jealousy, and malice, and pessimism, and doubt, and
fear; for I believe these to be the seed from which the
world harvests most of its troubles.
IX. When my mind is not occupied with thoughts
that tend toward the attainment of my definite chief
aim in life, I will voluntarily keep it filled with
thoughts of courage, and self-confidence, and good-
will toward others, and faith, and kindness, and
loyalty, and love for truth, and justice, for I believe
these to be the seed from which the world reaps its
harvest of progressive growth.
X. I understand that a mere passive belief in the
soundness of the Golden Rule philosophy is of no
value whatsoever, either to myself or to others; therefore,
I will actively put into operation this universal
rule for good in all my transactions with others.
XI. I understand the law through the operation of
which my own character is developed from my own
acts and thoughts; therefore, I will guard with care all
that goes into its development.
XII. Realizing that enduring happiness comes
only through helping others find it; that no act of
kindness is without its reward, even though it may
never be directly repaid, I will do my best to assist
others when and where the opportunity appears.
You have noticed frequent reference to Emerson
throughout this course. Every student of the course
should own a copy of Emerson’s Essays, and the essay
on Compensation should be read and studied at least
every three months. Observe, as you read this essay,
that it deals with the same law as that upon which the
Golden Rule is based.
There are people who believe that the Golden
Rule philosophy is nothing more than a theory, and
that it is in no way connected with an immutable law.
They have arrived at this conclusion because of
personal experience wherein they rendered service to
others without enjoying the benefits of direct
How many are there who have not rendered
service to others that was neither reciprocated nor
appreciated? I am sure that I have had such an
experience, not once, but many times, and I am
equally sure that I will have similar experiences in the
future, nor will I discontinue rendering service to
YOU have not fulfilled
every duty unless you
have fulfilled that of
others merely because they neither reciprocate nor
appreciate my efforts.
And here is the reason:
When I render service to another, or indulge in an
act of kindness, I store away in my sub-conscious
mind the effect of my efforts, which may be likened to
the “charging” of an electric battery. By and by, if I
indulge in a sufficient number of such acts I will have
developed a positive, dynamic character that will
attract to me people who harmonize with or resemble
my own character.
Those whom I attract to me will reciprocate the
acts of kindness and the service that I have rendered
others, thus the Law of Compensation will have
balanced the scales of justice for me, bringing back
from one source the results of service that I rendered
through an entirely different source.
You have often heard it said that a salesman’s
first sale should be to himself, which means that
unless he first convinces himself of the merits of his
wares he will not be able to convince others. Here,
again, enters this same Law of Attraction, for it is a
well known fact that enthusiasm is contagious, and
when a salesman shows great enthusiasm over his
wares he will arouse a corresponding interest in the
minds of others.
You can comprehend this law quite easily by
regarding yourself as a sort of human magnet that
attracts those whose characters harmonize with your
own. In thus regarding yourself as a magnet that
attracts to you all who harmonize with your
dominating characteristics and repels all who do not
so harmonize, you should keep in mind, also, the fact
that you are the builder of that magnet; also, that you
may change its nature so that it will correspond to any
ideal that you may wish to set up and follow.
And, most important of all, you should keep in
mind the fact that this entire process of change takes
place through thought!
Your character is but the sum total of your
thoughts and deeds! This truth has been stated in
many different ways throughout this course.
Because of this great truth it is impossible for
you to render any useful service or indulge in any act
of kindness toward others without benefiting thereby.
Moreover, it is just as impossible for you to indulge in
any destructive act or thought without paying the
penalty in the loss of a corresponding amount of your
Positive thought develops a dynamic personality.
Negative thought develops a personality of an
opposite nature. In many of the preceding lessons of
this course, and in this one, definite instructions are
given: as to the exact method of developing
personality through positive thought. These
instructions are particularly detailed in Lesson Three,
on Self-confidence. In that lesson you have a very
definite formula to follow. All of the formulas
provided in this course are for the purpose of helping
you consciously to direct the power of thought in the
development of a personality that will attract to you
those who will be of help in the attainment of your
definite chief aim.
You need no proof that your hostile or unkind
acts toward others bring back the effects of
retaliation. Moreover, this retaliation is usually
definite and immediate. Likewise, you need no proof
that you can accomplish more by dealing with others
in such a way that they will want to co-operate with
you. If you mastered the eighth lesson, on Self-
control, you now understand how to induce others to
act toward you as you wish them to act – through your
own attitude toward them.
The law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a
tooth” is based upon the selfsame law as that upon
which the Golden Rule operates. This is nothing more
than the law of retaliation with which all of us are
familiar. Even the most selfish person will respond to
this law, because he cannot help it! If I speak ill of
you, even though I tell the truth, you will not think
kindly of me. Furthermore, you will most likely
retaliate in kind. But, if I speak of your virtues you
will think kindly of me, and when the opportunity
appears you will reciprocate in kind in the majority of
Through the operation of this law of attraction
the uninformed are constantly attracting trouble and
grief and hatred and opposition from others by their
unguarded words and destructive acts.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto
We have heard that injunction expressed
thousands of times, yet how many of us understand the
law upon which it is based? To make this injunction
somewhat clearer it might be well to state it more in
detail, about as follows:
Do unto others as you would have them do unto
you, bearing in mind the fact that human nature has a
tendency to retaliate in kind.
Confucius must have had in mind the law of
retaliation when he stated the Golden Rule philosophy
in about this way:
Do not unto others that which you would not have
them do unto you.
And he might well have added an explanation to
the effect that the reason for his injunction was based
upon the common tendency of man to retaliate in kind.
Those who do not understand the law upon which
the Golden Rule is based are inclined to argue that it
will not work, for the reason that men are inclined
toward the principle of exacting “an eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth,” which is nothing more nor
less than the law of retaliation. If they would go a
step further in their reasoning they would understand
that they are looking at the negative effects of this
law, and that the selfsame law is capable of producing
positive effects as well.
In other words, if you would not have your own
eye plucked out, then insure against this misfortune by
refraining from plucking out the other fellow’s eye.
Go a step further and render the other fellow an act of
kindly, helpful service, and through the operation of
this same law of retaliation he will render you a
And, if he should fail to reciprocate your
kindness – what then?
You have profited, nevertheless, because of the
effect of your act on your own sub-conscious mind!
Thus by indulging in acts of kindness and
applying, always, the Golden Rule philosophy, you are
sure of benefit from one source and at the same time
you have a pretty fair chance of profiting from another
It might happen that you would base all of your
acts toward others on the Golden Rule without
enjoying any direct reciprocation for a long period of
time, and it might so happen that those to whom you
rendered those acts of kindness would never
reciprocate, but meantime you have been adding
vitality to your own character and sooner or later this
positive character which you have been building will
begin to assert itself and you will discover that you
have been receiving compound interest on compound
interest in return for those acts of kindness which
appeared to have been wasted on those who neither
appreciated nor reciprocated them.
Remember that your reputation is made by others,
but your character is made by you!
You want your reputation to be a favorable one,
but you cannot be sure that it will be for the reason
that it is something that exists outside of your own
control, in the minds of others. It is what others
believe you to be. With your character it is different.
Your character is that which you are, as the results of
your thoughts and deeds. You control it. You can
make it weak, good or bad. When you are satisfied and
know in your mind that your character is above
reproach you need not worry about your reputation,
for it is as impossible for your character to be
destroyed or damaged by anyone except yourself as it
is to destroy matter or energy.
It was this truth that Emerson had in mind when
he said: “A political victory, a rise of rents, the
recovery of your sick or the return of your absent
friend, or some other quite external event raises your
spirits, and you think your days are prepared for you.
Do not believe it. It can never be so. Nothing can
bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you
peace but the triumph of principles. ”
One reason for being just toward others is the fact
that such action may cause them to reciprocate, in
kind, but a better reason is the fact that kindness and
justice toward others develop positive character in all
who indulge in these acts.
You may withhold from me the reward to which I
am entitled for rendering you helpful service, but no
one can deprive me of the benefit I will derive from
the rendering of that service in so far as it adds to my
We are living in a great industrial age.
Everywhere we see the evolutionary forces working
great changes in the method and manner of living, and
re-arranging the relationships between men, in the
ordinary pursuit of life, liberty and a living.
This is an age of organized effort. On every hand
we see evidence that organization is the basis of all
financial success, and while other factors than that of
organization enter into the attainment of success, this
factor is still one of major importance.
This industrial age has created two comparatively
new terms. One is called “capital” and the other
“labor.” Capital and labor constitute the main wheels
in the machinery of organized effort. These two great
forces enjoy success in exact ratio to the extent that
both understand and apply the Golden Rule
philosophy. Despite this fact, however, harmony
between these two forces does not always prevail,
thanks to the destroyers of confidence who make a
living by sowing the seed of dissension and stirring up
strife between employers and employees.
During the past fifteen years I have devoted
considerable time to the study of the causes of
disagreement between employers and employees. Also,
I have gathered much information on this subject from
other men who, likewise, have been studying this
There is but one solution which will, if
understood by all concerned, bring harmony out of
chaos and establish a perfect working relationship
between capital and labor. The remedy is no invention
of mine. It is based upon a great universal law of
Nature. This remedy bas been well stated by one of
the great men of this generation, in the following
“The question we propose to consider is exciting
deep interest at the present time, but no more than its
importance demands. It is one of the hopeful signs of
the times that these subjects of vital interest to human
happiness are constantly coming up for a bearing, are
engaging the attention of the wisest men, and stirring
the minds of all classes of people. The wide
prevalence of this movement shows that a new life is
beating in the heart of humanity, operating upon their
faculties like the warm breath of spring upon the
frozen ground and the dormant germs of the plant. It
will make a great stir, it will break up many frozen
and dead forms, it will produce great and, in some
cases, it may be, destructive changes, but it announces
the blossoming of new hopes, and the coming of new
harvests for the supply of human wants and the means
of greater happiness. There is great need of wisdom to
guide the new forces coming into action. Every man is
under the most solemn obligation to do his part in
forming a correct public opinion and giving wise
direction to popular will.
“The only solution for the problems of labor, of
want, of abundance, of suffering and sorrow can only
be found by regarding them from a moral and spiritual
point of view. They must be seen end examined in a
light that is not of themselves. The true relations of
labor and capital can never be discovered by human
selfishness. They must be viewed from a higher
purpose than wages or the accumulation of wealth.
They must be regarded from their bearing upon the
purposes for which men was created. It is from this
point of view I propose to consider the subject before
“Capital end labor are essential to each other.
Their interests are so bound together that they cannot
be separated. In civilized and enlightened
communities they are mutually dependent. If there is
any difference, capital is more dependent upon labor
than labor upon capital. Life can be sustained without
capital. Animals, with a few exceptions, have no
property, and take no anxious thought for the morrow,
and our Lord commends them to our notice as
examples worthy of imitation. ‘Behold the fowls of
the air,’ He says, ‘for they sow not, neither do they
reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father
feedeth them.’ The savages live without capital.
Indeed, the great mass of human beings live by their
labor from day to day, from hand to mouth. But no
man can live upon his wealth. He cannot eat his gold
and silver; he cannot clothe himself with deeds and
certificates of stock. Capital can do nothing without
labor, and its only value consists in its power to
purchase labor or its results. It is itself the product of
labor. It has no occasion, therefore, to assume en
importance that does not belong to it. Absolutely
dependent, however, as it is upon labor for its value,
it is en essential factor in human progress.
“The moment man begins to rise from a savage
and comparatively independent state to a civilized and
dependent one, capital becomes necessary. Men come
into more intimate relations with one another. Instead
of each one doing everything, men begin to devote
themselves to special employments, and to depend
upon others to provide many things for them while
they engage in some special occupation. In this way
labor becomes diversified. One man works in iron,
another in wood; one manufactures cloth, another
makes it into garments; some raise food to feed those
who build houses and manufacture implements of
husbandry. This necessitates a system of exchanges,
and to facilitate exchanges roads must be made, and
men must be employed to make them. As population
increases and necessities multiply, the business of
exchange becomes enlarged, until we have immense
manufactories, railroads girding the earth with iron
bends, steamships plowing every sea, and a multitude
of men who cannot raise bread or make a garment, or
do anything directly for the supply of their own wants.
“Now, we can see how we become more
dependent upon others as our wants are multiplied and
civilization advances. Each one works in his special
employment, does better work, because he can devote
his whole thought and time to a form of use for which
he is specially fitted, and contributes more largely to
the public good. While he is working for others, all
others are working for him. Every member of the
community is working for the whole body, and the
whole body for every member. This is the law of
perfect life, a law which rules everywhere in the
material body. Every man who is engaged in any
employment useful to body or mind is a
philanthropist, a public benefactor, whether he raises
corn on the prairie, cotton in Texas or India, mines
coal in the chambers of the earth, or feeds it to
engines in the hold of a steamship. If selfishness did
not pervert and blast human motives, all men and
women would be fulfilling the law of charity while
engaged in their daily employment.
“To carry on this vast system of exchanges, to
place the forest and the farm, the factory and the mine
side by side, and deliver the products of all climes at
every door, requires immense capital. One man cannot
work his farm or factory, and build a railroad or a line
of steamships. As raindrops acting singly cannot drive
a mill or supply steam for an engine, but, collected in
a vast reservoir, become the resistless power of
Niagara, or the force which drives the engine and
steamship like mighty shuttles from mountain to
seacoast and from shore to shore, so a few dollars in a
multitude of pockets are powerless to provide the
means for these vast operations, but combined they
move the world.
“Capital is a friend of labor and essential to its
economical exercise and just reward. It can be, and
often is, a terrible enemy, when employed for selfish
purposes alone; but the great mass of it is more
friendly to human happiness than is generally
supposed. It cannot be employed without in some way,
either directly or indirectly, helping the laborer. We
think of the evils we suffer, but allow the good we
enjoy to pass unnoticed. We think of the evils that
larger means would relieve and the comforts they
would provide, but overlook the blessings we enjoy
that would have been impossible without large
accumulations of capital. It is the part of wisdom to
form a just estimate of the good we receive as well as
the evils we suffer.
“It is a common saying at the present time, that
the rich are growing richer and the poor poorer; but
when all man’s possessions are taken into the account
there are good reasons for doubting this assertion. It
is true that the rich are growing richer. It is also true
that the condition of the laborer is constantly
improving. The common laborer has conveniences and
comforts which princes could not command a century
ago. He is better clothed, has a greater variety and
abundance of food, lives in a more comfortable
dwelling, and has many more conveniences for the
conduct of domestic affairs and the prosecution of
labor than money could purchase but a few years ago.
An emperor could not travel with the ease, the
comfort, and the swiftness that the common laborer
can today. He may think that he stands alone, with no
one to help. But, in truth, he has an immense retinue
of servants constantly waiting upon him, ready and
anxious to do his bidding. It requires a vast army of
men and an immense outlay of capital to provide a
common dinner, such as every man and woman, with
few exceptions, has enjoyed today.
“Think of the vast combination of means and men
and forces necessary to provide even a frugal meal.
The Chinaman raises your tea, the Brazilian your
coffee, the East Indian your spices, the Cuban your
sugar, the farmer upon the western prairies your bread
and possibly your beef, the gardener your vegetables,
the dairyman your butter and milk; the miner has dug
from the hills the coal with which your food was
cooked and your house was warmed, the cabinet-maker
has provided you with chairs and tables, the cutler
with knives and forks, the potter with dishes, the
Irishman has made your table-cloth, the butcher has
dressed your meat, the miller your flour.
“But these various articles of food, and the means
of preparing and serving them, were produced at
immense distances from you and from one another.
Oceans had to be traversed, hills leveled, valleys
filled, and mountains tunneled, ships must be built,
railways constructed, and a vast army of men
instructed and employed in every mechanical art
before the materials for your dinner could be prepared
and served. There must also be men to collect these
materials, to buy and sell and distribute them.
Everyone stands in his own place and does his own
work, and receives his wages. But he is none the less
working for you, and serving you as truly and
effectively as he would be if he were in your special
employment and received his wages from your hand.
In the light of these facts, which everyone must
acknowledge, we may be able to see more clearly the
truth, that every man and woman who does useful
work is a public benefactor, and the thought of it and
the purpose of it will ennoble the labor and the
laborer. We are all bound together by common ties.
The rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant,
the strong and the weak, are woven together in one
social and civic web. Harm to one is harm to all; help
to one is help to all.
“You see what a vast army of servants it requires
to provide your dinner. Do you not see that it demands
a corresponding amount of capital to provide and keep
this complicated machinery in motion? And do you not
see that every man, woman and child is enjoying the
benefit of it? How could we get our coal, our meat,
our flour, our tea and coffee, sugar and rice? The
laborer cannot build ships and sail them and support
himself while doing it. The farmer cannot leave his
farm and take his produce to the market. The miner
cannot mine and transport his coal. The farmer in
Kansas may be burning corn today to cook his food
and warm his dwelling, and the miner may be hungry
for the bread which the corn would supply, because
they cannot exchange the fruits of their labor. Every
acre of land, every forest and mine has been increased
in value by railways and steamboats, and the comforts
of life and the means of social and intellectual culture
have been carried to the most inaccessible places.
“But the benefits of capital are not limited to
supplying present wants and comforts. It opens new
avenues for labor. It diversifies it and gives a wider
field to everyone to do the kind of work for which he
is best fitted by natural taste and genius. The number
of employments created by railways, steamships,
telegraph, and manufactories by machinery can hardly
be estimated. Capital is also largely invested in
supplying the means of intellectual and spiritual
Books are multiplied at constantly diminishing
prices, and the best thought of the world, by means of
our great publishing houses, is made accessible to the
humblest workman. There is no better example of the
benefits the common laborer derives from capital than
the daily newspaper. For two or three cents the history
of the world for twenty-four hours is brought to every
door. The laborer, while riding to or from his work in
a comfortable car, can visit all parts of the known
world and get a truer idea of the events of the day
than he could if he were bodily present. A battle in
China or Africa, an earthquake in Spain, a dynamite
explosion in London, a debate in Congress, the
movements of men in public and private life for the
suppression of vice, for enlightening the ignorant,
helping the needy, and improving the people
generally, are spread before him in a small compass,
and bring him into contact and on equality, in regard
to the world’s history, with kings and queens, with
saints and sages, and people in every condition in life.
Do you ever think, while reading the morning paper,
how many men have been running on your errands,
collecting intelligence for you from all parts of the
earth, and putting it into a form convenient for your
use? It required the investment of millions of money
and the employment of thousands of men to produce
that paper and leave it at your door. And what did all
this service cost you? A few cents.
“These are examples of the benefits which
everyone derives from capital, benefits which could
not be obtained without vast expenditures of money;
benefits which come to us without our care and lay
their blessings at our feet. Capital cannot be invested
in any useful production without blessing a multitude
of people. It sets the machinery of life in motion, it
multiplies employment; it places the product of all
climes at every door, it draws the people of all nations
together; brings mind in contact with mind, and gives
to every man and woman a large and valuable share of
the product. These are facts which it would be well for
everyone, however poor he may be, to consider.
“If capital is such a blessing to labor; if it can
only be brought into use by labor, and derives all its
value from it, how can there be any conflict between
them? There could be none if both the capitalist and
laborer acted from humane and Christian principles.
But they do not. They are governed by inhuman and
unchristian principles. Each party seeks to get the
largest returns for the least service. Capital desires
larger profits, labor higher wages. The interests of the
capitalist and the laborer come into direct collision. In
this warfare capital has great advantages, and has been
prompt to take them. It has demanded and taken the
lion’s share of the profits. It has despised the servant
that enriched it. It has regarded the laborer as a
menial, a slave, whose rights and happiness it was not
bound to respect. It influences legislators to enact
laws in its favor, subsidizes governments and wields
its power for its own advantage. Capital has been a
lord and labor a servant. While the servant remained
docile and obedient, content with such compensation
as its lord chose to give, there was no conflict. But
labor is rising from a servile, submissive, and
hopeless condition. It has acquired strength and
intelligence; has gained the idea that it has rights that
has rights that ought to be respected, and begins to
assert and combine to support them.
“Each party in this warfare regards the subject
from its own selfish interests. The capitalist supposes
that gain to labor is loss to him, and that he must look
to his own interests first; that the cheaper the labor
the larger his gains. Consequently it is for his interest
to keep the price as low as possible. On the contrary,
the laborer thinks that he loses what the capitalist
gains, and, consequently, that it is for his interest to
get as large wages as possible. From these opposite
points of view their interests appear to be directly
hostile. What one party gains the other loses; hence
the conflict. Both are acting from selfish motives,
and, consequently, must be wrong. Both parties see
only half of the truth, and, mistaking that for the
whole of it, they fall into a mistake ruinous to both.
Each one stands on his own ground, and regards the
subject wholly from his point of view and in the
misleading light of his own selfishness. Passion
inflames the mind and blinds the understanding; and
when passion is aroused men will sacrifice their own
interests to injure others, and both will suffer loss.
They will wage continual warfare against each other;
they will resort to all devices, and take advantage of
every necessity to win a victory. Capital tries to
starve the laborer into submission, like a beleaguered
city; and hunger and want are most powerful weapons.
Labor sullenly resists, and tries to destroy the value of
capital by rendering it unproductive. If necessity or
interest compels a truce, it is a sullen one, and
maintained with the purpose of renewing hostilities as
soon as there is any prospect of success. Thus laborers
and capitalists confront each other like two armed
hosts, ready at any time to renew the conflict. It will
be renewed, without doubt, and continued with
varying success until both parties discover that they
are mistaken, that their interests are mutual, and can
only be secured to the fullest extent by co-operation
and giving to each the reward it deserves. The
capitalist and the laborer must clasp hands across the
bottomless pit into which so much wealth and work
has been cast.
“How this reconciliation is to be effected is a
question that is occupying the minds of many wise and
good men on both sides at the present time. Wise and
impartial legislation will, no doubt, be an important
agent in restraining blind passion and protecting all
classes from insatiable greed; and it is the duty of
every man to use his best endeavors to secure such
legislation both in state and national governments.
Organizations of laborers for protecting their own
rights and securing a better reward for their labor,
will have a great influence. That influence will
continue to increase as their temper becomes normal
and firm, and their demands are based on justice and
humanity. Violence and threats will effect no good.
Dynamite, whether in the form of explosives or the
more destructive force of fierce and reckless passion,
will heal no wounds nor subdue any hostile feeling.
Arbitration is, doubtless, the wisest and most
practicable means now available to bring about
amicable relations between these hostile parties and
secure justice to both. Giving the laborer a share in
the profits of the business has worked well in some
cases, but it is attended with great practical
difficulties which require more wisdom, self-control
and genuine regard for the common interests of both
parties than often can be found. Many devices may
have a partial and temporary effect. But no permanent
progress can be made in settling this conflict without
restraining and finally removing its cause.
“Its real central cause is an inordinate love of self
and the world, and that cause will continue to operate
as long as it exists. It may be restrained and
moderated, but it will assert itself when occasion
offers. Every wise man must, therefore, seek to
remove the cause, and as far as he can do it he will
control effects. Purify the fountain, and you make the
whole stream pure and wholesome.
“There is a principle of universal influence that
must underlie and guide every successful effort to
bring these two great factors of human good which
now confront each other with hostile purpose, into
harmony. It is no invention or discovery of mine. It
embodies a higher than human wisdom. It is not
difficult to understand or apply. The child can
comprehend it and act according to it. It is universal
in its application, and wholly useful in its effects. It
will lighten the burdens of labor and increase its
rewards. It will give security to capital and make it
more productive. It is simply the Golden Rule,
embodied in these words: ‘Therefore all things
whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. ‘
“Before proceeding to apply this principle to the
case in hand, let me call your special attention to it. It
is a very remarkable law of human life which seems to
have been generally overlooked by statesmen, philosophers
and religious teachers. This rule embodies
the whole of religion; it comprises all the precepts,
commandments, and means of the future triumphs of
good over evil, of truth over error, and the peace and
happiness of men, foretold in the glorious visions of
the prophets. Mark the words. It does not merely say
that it is a wise rule; that it accords with the
principles of the Divine order revealed in the law and
the prophets. It embodies them all; it ‘IS the law and
the prophets. ‘ It comprises love to God. It says we
should regard Him as we desire to have Him regard us;
that we should do to Him as we wish to have Him do
to us. If we desire to have Him love us with all His
heart, with all His soul, with all His mind, and with
all His strength, we must love Him in the same
manner. If we desire to have our neighbor love us as
he loves himself, we must love him as we love ourself.
Here, then, is the universal and Divine law of human
service and fellowship. It is not a precept of human
wisdom; it bas its origin in the Divine nature, and its
embodiment in human nature. Now, let us apply it to
the conflict between labor and capital.
“You are a capitalist. Your money is invested in
manufactures, in land, in mines, in merchandise,
railways, and ships, or you loan it to others on
interest. You employ, directly or indirectly, men to
use your capital. You cannot come to a just conclusion
concerning your rights and duties and privileges by
looking wholly at your own gains. The glitter of the
silver and gold will exercise so potent a spell over
your mind that it will blind you to everything else.
You can see no interest but your own. The laborer is
not known or regarded as a man who has any interests
you are bound to regard. You see him only as your
slave, your tool, your means of adding to your wealth.
In this light he is a friend so far as he serves you, an
enemy so far as he does not. But change your point of
view. Put yourself in his place; put him in your place.
How would you like to have him treat you if you were
in his place? Perhaps you have been there. In all
probability you have, for the capitalist today was the
laborer yesterday, and the laborer today will be the
employer tomorrow. You know from lively and painful
experience how you would like to be treated. Would
you like to be regarded as a mere tool? As a means of
enriching another? Would you like to have your wages
kept down to the bare necessities of life? Would you
like to be regarded with indifference and treated with
brutality? Would you like to have your blood, your
strength, your soul coined into dollars for the benefit
of another? These questions are easy to answer.
Everyone knows that he would rejoice to be treated
kindly, to have his interests regarded, his rights
recognized and protected. Everyone knows that such
regard awakens a response in his own heart. Kindness
begets kindness; respect awakens respect. Put yourself
in his place. Imagine that you are dealing with
yourself, and you will have no difficulty in deciding
whether you should give the screw another turn, that
you may wring a penny more from the muscles of the
worker, or relax its pressure, and, if possible, add
something to his wages, and give him respect for his
service. Do to him as you would have him do to you in
“You are a laborer. You receive a certain sum for
a day’s work. Put yourself in the place of your employer.
How would you like to have the men you
employed work for you? Would you think it right that
they should regard you as their enemy? Would you
think it honest in them to slight their work, to do as
little and to get as much as possible? If you had a
large contract which must be completed at a fixed
time or you would suffer great loss, would you like to
have your workmen take advantage of your necessity
to compel an increase of their wages? Would you
think it right and wise in them to interfere with you in
the management of your business? To dictate whom
you should employ, and on what terms you should
employ them? Would you not rather have them do
honest work in a kind and good spirit? Would you not
be much more disposed to look to their interests, to
lighten their labor, to increase their wages when you
could afford to do so, and look after the welfare of
their families, when you found that they regarded
yours? I know that it would be so. It is true that men
are selfish, and that some men are so mean and
contracted in spirit that they cannot see any interest
but their own; whose hearts, not made of flesh but of
silver and gold, are so hard that they are not touched
by any human feeling, and care not how much others
suffer if they can make a cent by it. But they are the
exception, not the rule. We are influenced by the
regard and devotion of others to our interests. The
laborer who knows that his employer feels kindly
toward him, desires to treat him justly and to regard
his good, will do better work and more of it, and will
be disposed to look to his employer’s interests as well
as his own.
“I am well aware that many will think this Divine
and humane law of doing to others as we would have
them do to us, is impracticable in this selfish and
worldly age. If both parties would be governed by it,
everyone can see how happy would be the results. But,
it will be said, they will not. The laborer will not
work unless compelled by want. He will take
advantage of every necessity. As soon as he gains a
little independence of his employer he becomes proud,
arrogant and hostile. The employer will seize upon
every means to keep the workmen dependent upon
him, and to make as much out of them as possible.
Every inch of ground which labor yields capital will
occupy and intrench itself in it, and from its vantage
bring the laborer into greater dependence and more
abject submission. But this is a mistake. The history
of the world testifies that when the minds of men are
not embittered by intense hostility and their feelings
outraged by cruel wrongs, they are ready to listen to
calm, disinterested and judicious counsel. A man who
employed a large number of laborers in mining coal
told me that he had never known an instance to fail of
a calm and candid response when he had appealed to
honorable motives, as a man to man, both of whom
acknowledged a common humanity. There is a recent
and most notable instance in this city of the happy
effect of calm, disinterested and judicious counsel in
settling difficulties between employers and workmen
that were disastrous to both.
“When the mind is inflamed by passion men will
not listen to reason. They become blind to their own
interests and regardless of the interests of others.
Difficulties are never settled while passion rages.
They are never settled by conflict. One party may be
subdued by power; but the sense of wrong will remain;
the fire of passion will slumber ready to break out
again on the first occasion. But let the laborer or the
capitalist feel assured that the other party has no wish
to take any advantage, that there is a sincere desire
and determination on both sides to be just and pay due
regard to their common interests, and all the conflict
between them would cease, as the wild waves of the
ocean sink to calm when the winds are at rest. The
laborer and the capitalist have a mutual and common
interest. Neither can permanently prosper without the
prosperity of the other. They are parts of one body. If
labor is the arm, capital is the blood. Devitalize or
waste the blood, and the arm loses its power. Destroy
the arm, and the blood is useless. Let each care for the
other, and both are benefited. Let each take the
Golden Rule as a guide, and all cause of hostility will
be removed, all conflict will cease, and they will go
hand in hand to do their work and reap their just
If you have mastered the fundamentals upon
which this lesson is based, you understand why it is
that no public speaker can move his audience or
convince men of his argument unless he, himself,
believes that which he is saying.
You also understand why no salesman can
convince his prospective purchaser unless he has first
convinced himself of the merits of his goods.
Throughout this entire course one particular
principle has been emphasized for the purpose of
illustrating the truth that every personality is the sum
total of the individual’s thoughts and acts – that we
come to resemble the nature of our dominating
Thought is the only power that can systematically
organize, accumulate and assemble facts and materials
according to a definite plan. A flowing river can
assemble dirt and build land, and a storm can gather
and assemble sticks into a shapeless mass of debris,
but neither storms nor river can think; therefore, the
materials which they assemble are not assembled in
organized, definite form.
Man, alone, has the power to transform his
thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream
and make his dreams come true.
Man has the power to create ideals and rise to
How did it happen that man is the only creature
on earth that knows how to use the power of thought?
It “happened” because man is the apex of the pyramid
of evolution, the product of millions of years of
struggle during which man has risen above the other
creatures of the earth as the result of his own thoughts
and their effects upon himself.
Just when, where and how the first rays of
thought began to flow into man’s brain no one knows,
but we all know that thought is the power which
distinguishes man from all other creatures; likewise,
we all know that thought is the power that has enabled
man to lift himself above all other creatures.
No one knows the limitations of the power of
thought, or whether or not it has any limitations.
Whatever man believes he can do he eventually does.
But a few generations back the more imaginative
writers dared to write of the “horseless carriage,” and
lo! it became a reality and is now a common vehicle.
Through the evolutionary power of thought the hopes
and ambitious of one generation become a reality in
The power of thought has been given the
dominating position throughout this course, for the
reason that it belongs in that position. Man’s
dominating position in the world is the direct result of
thought, and it must be this power that you, as an
individual, will use in the attainment of success, no
matter what may be your idea of what represents
You have now arrived at the point at which you
should take inventory of yourself for the purpose of
ascertaining what qualities you need to give you a
well balanced and rounded out personality.
Fifteen major factors entered into the building of
this course. Analyze yourself carefully, with the
assistance of one or more other persons if you feel
that you need it, for the purpose of ascertaining in
which of the fifteen factors of this course you are the
weakest, and then concentrate your efforts upon those
particular lessons until you have fully developed those
factors which they represent.
PERSONAL ANALYSIS SERVICE
As a student of this course you are entitled to a
continuation of the author’s services for the purpose
of making a complete Personal Analysis that will
indicate your general efficiency and your
understanding of the Fifteen Laws of Success.
To avail yourself of this service you must fill out
the Personal Analysis Questionnaire, which accompanies
the course, and mail it to the author, at the
address shown on the Questionnaire.
You will, in due time, receive a graphic chart
diagram which will show you, at a glance, the
percentage to which you are entitled in connection
with each of the Fifteen Laws. It will be both
interesting and instructive to compare this analysis
with the one which you, yourself, have made, through
the aid of the chart shown in Lesson One.
The Questionnaire should not be filled out until
after you have read all the lessons of this course at
least once. Answer the questions correctly, and
frankly, as near as you can. The data contained in
your answers will be strictly confidential, and will be
seen by no one except the author of this philosophy.
Your analysis will be in the nature of a signed
report, which may be used to great advantage in the
marketing of your personal services, if you wish so to
use it. This analysis will be the same, in every
respect, as those for which the author made a charge
of $25.00 during the years he was engaged in research
in connection with the organization of this course, and
it may, under some circumstances, be worth many
times this amount to you, as similar analyses have
been to scores of people whom the author has served.
No charge is made for this analysis, as it is a part
of the service to which each student of this course is
entitled upon completion of the sixteen lessons and
the payment of the nominal tuition fee charged for the
An After-the-Lesson Visit With the Author
Procrastination robs you of opportunity. It is a
significant fact that no great leader was ever
known to procrastinate. You are fortunate if
AMBITION drives you into action, never
permitting you to falter or turn back, once you
have rendered a DECISION to go forward. Second
by second, as the clock ticks off the distance
TIME is running a race with YOU. Delay means
defeat, because no man may ever make up a
second of lost TIME. TIME is a master worker
which heals the wounds of failure and
disappointment and rights all wrongs and turns
all mistakes into capital, but, it favors only those
who kill off procrastination and remain in
ACTION when decisions are to made.
Life is a great checker-board. The player opposite
you is TIME.
If you hesitate you will be wiped off the board. If
you keep moving you may win. The only real
capital is TIME, but it is capital only when used.
You may be shocked if you keep accurate account
of the TIME you waste in a single day.
Take a look at the picture above if you wish to
know the fate of all who play carelessly with TIME.
THE picture at top of previous page tells a true story
of one of the chief causes of FAILURE!
One of the players is “TIME” and the other is Mr.
Average Man; let us call him YOU.
Move by move Time has wiped off Mr. Average
Man’s men until he is finally cornered, where Time
will get him, no matter which way he moves.
INDECISION has driven him into the corner.
Ask any well informed salesman and he will tell
you that indecision is the outstanding weakness of the
majority of people. Every salesman is familiar with
that time-worn alibi, “I will think it over,” which is
the last trench-line of defense of those who have not
the courage to say either yes or no. Like the player in
the picture above, they cannot decide which way to
move. Meanwhile, Time forces them into a corner
where they can’t move.
The great leaders of the world were men and
women of quick decision.
General Grant had but little to commend him as
an able General except the quality of firm decision,
but this was sufficient to offset all of his weaknesses.
The whole story of his military success may be
gathered from his reply to his critics when he said
“We will fight it out along these lines if it takes all
When Napoleon reached a decision to move his
armies in a given direction, he permitted nothing to
cause him to change that decision. If his line of march
brought his soldiers to a ditch, dug by his opponents
to stop him, be would give the order to charge the
ditch until it had been filled with dead men and horses
sufficient to bridge it.
The suspense of indecision drives millions of
people to failure. A condemned man once said that the
thought of his approaching execution was not so
terrifying, once he had reached the decision in his
own mind to accept the inevitable.
Lack of decision is the chief stumbling block of
all revival meeting workers. Their entire work is to
get men and women to reach a decision in their own
minds to accept a given religious tenet. Billy Sunday
once said, “Indecision is the devil’s favorite tool.”
Andrew Carnegie visualized a great steel
industry, but that industry would not be what it is
today had he not reached a decision in his own mind
to transform his vision into reality.
James J. Hill saw, in his mind’s eye, a great
transcontinental railway system, but that railroad
never would have become a reality had he not reached
a decision to start the project.
Imagination, alone, is not enough to insure
Millions of people have imagination and build
plans that would easily bring them both fame and
fortune, but those plans never reach the DECISION
Samuel Instil was an ordinary stenographer, in
the employ of Thomas A. Edison. Through the aid of
his imagination he saw the great commercial
possibilities of electricity. But, he did more than see
the possibilities – he reached a decision to transform
the mere possibilities into realities, and today he is a
multimillionaire electric light plant operator.
Demosthenes was a poor Greek lad who had a
strong desire to be a great public speaker. Nothing
unusual about that; others have “desired” this and
similar ability without living to see their desires
realized. But, Demosthenes added DECISION to
DESIRE, and, despite the fact that he was a stammerer
he mastered this handicap and made himself one of the
great orators of the world.
Martin W. Littleton was a poor lad who never saw
the inside of a school house until he was past twelve
years of age. His father took him to hear a great
lawyer defend a murderer, in one of the southern
cities. The speech made such a profound impression
on the lad’s mind that he grabbed his father by the
hand and said, “Father, one of these days I am going
to become the ablest lawyer in America.”
That was a DEFINITE DECISION!
Today Martin W. Littleton accepts no fee under
$50,000.00, and it is said that he is kept busy all the
time. He became an able lawyer because be reached a
DECISION to do so.
Edwin C. Barnes reached a DECISION in his own
mind to become the partner of Thomas A. Edison.
Handicapped by lack of schooling, without money to
pay his railroad fare, and with no influential friends to
introduce him to Mr. Edison, young Barnes made his
way to East Orange on a freight car and so thoroughly
sold himself to Mr. Edison that he got his opportunity
which led to a partnership. Today, just twenty years
since that decision was reached, Mr. Barnes lives at
Bradenton, Florida, retired, with all the money he needs.
Men of decision usually get all that they go after!
Well within the memory of this writer a little
group of men met at Westerville, Ohio, and organized
what they called the Anti-Saloon League. Saloon men
treated them as a joke. People, generally, made fun of
them. But, they had reached a decision.
That decision was so pronounced that it finally
drove the powerful saloon men into the corner.
William Wrigley, Jr., reached a decision to
devote his entire business career to the manufacture
and sale of a five-cent package of chewing gum. He
has made that decision bring him financial returns
running into millions of dollars a year.
Henry Ford reached a decision to manufacture and
sell a popular priced automobile that would be within
the means of all who wished to own it. That decision
has made Ford the most powerful man on earth and
brought travel opportunity to millions of people.
All these men had two outstanding qualities: A
DEFINITE PURPOSE and a firm DECISION to
transform that purpose into reality.
The man of DECISION gets that which he goes
after, no matter how long it takes, or how difficult the
task. An able salesman wanted to meet a Cleveland
banker. The banker would not see him. One morning
this salesman waited near the banker’s house until he
saw him get into his automobile and start down town.
Watching his opportunity, the salesman drove his own
automobile into the banker’s, causing slight damage to
the automobile. Alighting from his own car, he handed
the banker his card, expressed regret on account of the
damage done, but promised the banker a new car
exactly like the one that had been damaged. That
afternoon a new car was delivered to the banker, and
out of that transaction grew a friendship that
terminated, finally, in a business partnership which
The man of DECISION cannot be stopped!
The man of INDECISION cannot be started! Take
your own choice.
“Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghosts of shores;
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: ‘Now must we pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Adm’r’l, speak; what shall I say?’
‘Why, say: “Sail on and on!”‘”
When Columbus began his famous voyage he
made one of the most far-reaching DECISIONS in the
history of mankind. Had he not remained firm on that
decision the freedom of America, as we know it today,
would never have been known.
Take notice of those about you and observe this
significant fact – THAT THE SUCCESSFUL MEN
AND WOMEN ARE THOSE WHO REACH
DECISIONS QUICKLY AND THEN STAND FIRMLY
BY THOSE DECISIONS AFTER THEY ARE MADE.
If you are one of those who make up their minds
today and change them again tomorrow you are
doomed to failure. If you are not sure which way to
move it is better to shut your eyes and move in the
dark than to remain still and make no move at all.
The world will forgive you if you make mistakes,
but it will never forgive you if you make no
DECISIONS, because it will never hear of you outside
of the community in which you live.
No matter who you are or what may be your
lifework, you are playing checkers with TIME! It is
always your next move. Move with quick DECISION
and Time will favor you. Stand still and Time will
wipe you off the board.
You cannot always make the right move, but, if
you make enough moves you may take advantage of
the law of averages and pile up a creditable score
before the great game of LIFE is ended.