Do not let yourselves be discouraged or embittered by the smallness of the success you are likely to achieve in trying to make life better. You certainly would not be able, in a single generation, to create an earthly paradise. Who could expect that? But, if you make life ever so little better, you will have done splendidly, and your lives will have been worthwhile. Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power; but, character, health, knowledge and good judgement will always be in demand under all conditions.
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A character standard is far more important than even a gold standard. The success of all economic systems is still dependent upon both righteous leaders and righteous people. In the last analysis, our national future depends upon our national character that is, whether it is spiritually or materially minded.
Experience has taught me that there is one chief reason why some people succeed and others fail. The difference is not one of knowing, but of doing. The successful man is not so superior in ability as in action. So far as success can be reduced to a formula, it consists of this: doing what you know you should do.
Does anyone believe for one moment that the progress we have made would have been possible under bureaucratic control of any government. This country was founded upon the principle of the regulation of private effort, of making rules for the game, and under that system alone can we look for the same success in the future which has been ours in the past. Our position today is the direct result of the free play among our people of private competitive effort.
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I have not been able to find a single useful institution which has not been founded either by an intensely religious man or by the son of a praying father or a praying mother. I have made the statement before the chambers of commerce of all the largest cities of the country and have asked them to bring forward a case that is an exception to this rule. Thus far, I have not heard of a single one.
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