At times I read an author’s writing and find them worth sharing. This time I have chosen the wisdom of Wallace Wattles. He wrote back in 1911 on the Science of Getting Rich (basis for the book “The Secret”), the Science of Being Great and the Science of Being Well. It is all compiled in his book “The Wisdom of Wallace Wattles”. In fact Wattles was the father of much of the later New Age group think–EST, Mind Spring etc. Since his book was written in 1911, I ask you to excuse the writings of that period where each person is referred to as “him”.
I wanted to focus today from the “Science of Being Great”. Looking around the world, I don’t see much greatness. I see financially successful people, well-known personalities, leaders of philanthropic organizations but I don’t see real greatness. I feel strongly that we long for more genuine greatness in our culture. Here is what Wattles speaks to in the development of greatness:
“The purpose of life for man is growth, just at the purpose of life for trees and plants is growth. Trees and plants grow automatically and along fixed lines; man can grow, as he will. Trees and plants can only develop certain possibilities and characteristics; man can develop any power, which is or has been shown by any person anywhere. Nothing that man can think is impossible in action. Nothing that man can imagine is impossible of realization.
Man is formed for growth, and he is under the necessity of growing. It is essential to his happiness that he should continuously advance. Life without progress becomes unendurable, and the person who ceases from growth must either become insane or an imbecile. The greater and more harmonious and well rounded his growth, the happier that person will be.
There is no possibility in any person that is not in every person.…every person comes into the world with a predisposition to grow along certain lines, and growth is easier for him along those lines than in any other way. This is a wise provision as it gives endless variety. It is as if a gardener should throw all his bulbs into one basket; to the superficial observer they would look alike, but growth reveals a tremendous difference. So of men and women, they are like a basket of bulbs. One may be a rose and add brightness and color to some dark corner of the world; one may be a lily and teach a lesson of love and purity to every eye that sees; one may be a climbing vine and hide the rugged outlines of some dark rock; one may be a great oak among those whose boughs the birds shall nest and sing and beneath whose shade the flocks shall rest at noon, but every one will be something worthwhile, something rare, something perfect.
There ere are undreamed of possibilities in the common lives all around us in a large sense, there are no “common” people. In times of national stress and peril the cracker-box loafer of the corner store and the village drunkard become heroes and statesmen through the quickening of the Principle of Power with them. There is genius in every man and woman waiting to be brought forth. Every village has its great man or woman; someone to whom all go for advice in time of trouble; some one who is instinctively recognized as being great in wisdom and insight, To such a one the minds of the whole community turn in times of local crisis, this person is tacitly recognized as being great. He does small things in a great way. He could do great things as well if he did but undertake them; so can any man; so can you. The Principle of Power gives us just what we ask of it; if we only undertake little things, it only gives us power for little things; but if we try to do great things in a great way, it gives us all the power there is. But beware of undertaking great things in a small way.
No greater good can come to any man or woman than to become self-active. All the experiences of life are designed by Providence to force man and women into self-activity; to compel them to cease being creatures of circumstances and master their environment. Wisdom is the essential basis of greatness. Wisdom is the power to perceive the best ends to aim at and the best means for reaching those ends. It is the power to perceive the right thing to do.”