February 27, 1914
February 27, 1914
(David Swing Ricker in the Portland Oregonian.)
MEDFORD, Ore., Feb. 27 — (Special) — Few of us are self-steering men. We sit among the cushions, contented, compacent or in a quarrel with our desires and our purposes and let other hands manipulate the steering gear.
Usually our chauffeur is Circumstances. Sometimes Lack-of-Opportunity or Shortsightedness. Most often it's Poverty. But whatever his name — the name we blame so we may hold ourselves blameless — we allow him to take us wherever he wants us to go.
Most People Followers
We surrender our right of self-command and our privilege to give direction. We are followers. We accept leadership. We mark time. Out of 20,000 of us, one is able to steer himself. The rest of us are steered. That's because something is the matter with most of us.
If we have initiative, we lack the ambition to use it. If we have the ambition, we are without the sand. if we have the sand, we haven't the money or ingenuity to get it.
We accept our destiny as we accept our baptism, without protestation, because of the selection of occupation as in the election of creed we are hampered by the expectations of our relatives, who won't live to suffer with us the grief that comes with the mistakes they gave to us when they asked us to keep in step with family tradititions.
Jackson Folk Self-Starters
To the casual reader the foregoing observations would seem to have little or nothing to do with the resources, the fruitfulness or the good roads of Jackson copunty and its one best bet, the Rogue River valley. But they have. they have a lot to do with all of them.
It is the self-steering man who has made Jackson county and its unequaled valley. The self-steering man lets nothing stand in his way. He fixes his destination. Then he slashes the bush and clears the path that leads to it. If blades and axes and saws fail him, he uses fire. If fire fails him he uses dollars. He destroys the barriers that stand in his way. He holds the steering wheel in his two hands. He has an instinct for self-leadership. he determines what kind of life pleases him most, then he leads it. He doesn't say he would lead it if he could. He does lead it.