She didn’t need a thing except to get interested in something

Posted by | July 5, 2013

Citizen (Berea, Ky.)
Thursday, July 7, 1910.

“Keep Busy”

It is not money that is the root of all evil. It is idleness. Idleness leads to poverty, Idleness invites disease. Idleness breeds crime.

Everywhere people are to be found who seem to put but little value upon time. They may know the full worth of a dollar, but they do not seem to have learned that a column of hours may be added and the result be dollars. Idleness and the pupil drops out of the class. Industry and he is at the head.

Idleness and there are filth and flies in the house, and the weeds hide the view from the window and door. Industry and the home, though it be a cabin, is a place of beauty and roses.

Idleness and the fence row encroaches upon the field, sprouts take the pasture, and the farmer complains that the soil is exhausted and he can’t make a living. Industry and the fence rows are clean, the sprouts give way to clover, and the farmer’s barns—and his pockets—are full.

Idleness and the mind feeds upon thoughts of disease, and the disease follows. Industry and the thoughts go in other channels, activity proves a tonic, and vigorous health results.

Idleness and the weeds grow. They only need to be let alone. Evil and crime are like weeds, and industry proves a good resistant. Is it not so? Look about and see.

Yes, that is the reason Bud Adler is out of school and no job in sight, while Willie Brown has his diploma and a good position awaiting. And you stopped at the Adler home the other day. There were the weeds up to the porch railing, the farm all run down and the barns empty. And there were filth and flies—no screens. Farmer Adler had no time, and Mrs. Adler had no time. But you found the farmer sitting on the porch whittling and his wife beside him with folded hands.

And what about Mrs. Burchett? She has been having spells of some kind for nearly a year. And the neighbors report her very sick, but the Doctor is your brother-in-law and he tells you there is really nothing the matter with her. It is all in her imagination. The fact is, the Doctor told you that nearly half of our ailments are imaginary to begin with. Didn’t he say “three fourths.” You remember how the Doctor laughed when he told you what he gave Mrs. Burchett on his last visit. A bread pill. He said she didn’t need a thing except to get interested in something, but, if he had told here that, she would have sent for the other Doctor. So he did not tell her.

And the Doctor, your brother-in-law, at the same time called your attention to Mrs. Newgate—a little mite of a woman that had never been strong—and said that she would have been dead long ago if death had ever found her idle long enough to get her scared about herself. But it couldn’t. When she got the house in order she went to the yard or garden, and no weeds could grow there for the flowers. And how happy she was, and how happy her family!

And you don’t have to go out of your own neighborhood to see that idleness leads to crime. Look at the Feltin boys. They didn’t have to work and their parents didn’t see the necessity of keeping them busy; so they drifted and the weeds grew, and two of them are in the “pen” and one in the house of reform. Busy now! Get busy and get wealth. Keep busy and keep health.

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