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What do I believe? What laws do I live by? There are so many answers - work, beauty, truth, love - and I hope I do live by them.
But in everyday things I live by the light of a supplementary set of laws. I'd better call them rules of thumb. Rules of thumb aren't very grand, but they do make the wheels go round.
My father and mother sent me to good schools, but the finest thing they did for my education was to have seven children. I was the oldest, and my brothers and sisters were my best teachers.
I learned first to pull my own weight in the boat. Kids making a bob-sled have no use for the loafer who wants a free ride. Neither has the world. I learned to make the bed I slept in, and wash the glass I used, and mend what I broke, and mop up where I spilled. And if I was too lazy or too dainty or too busy, and left it for someone else, somebody else soon taught me different.
Then, the same way, I learned that anger is a waste. It hurts nobody but me. A fit of the sullens got short shrift in our house. It wasn't pulling my weight in the boat. It was spoiling sport. And among seven children it got me nowhere. It might reduce four o'cat to three o'cat, but the game went on just the same, and where was I? Out of it. Better go in and join the group around the piano and forget my grievance. Better still, next time don't fling down my bat in a tantrum; keep my temper, and stay in the game.
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