Whistle While You Work
"Any one who is willing to work ten hours a day at the brick-yard... in order that he or she may have the privilege of studying academic branches for two hours in the evening, has enough bottom to warrant being further educated" (13,3).
I kind of wish that this still held true today. Look at how many people have to work a full time job or multiple part time jobs to be able to even afford paying loans to go to school. It says something about a persons character if they are willing to work 8-10 hours a day and attend a night class. This is as true now as it was when Washington said it. People in general underestimate the importance of those willing to work. Society has so few jobs yet so many people that don't belong in the job they are at! There are more people willing to work and who enjoy what they do than there are places that will accept them - both in school and the work force. It's extremely frustrating to watch someone skate by while watching another person work their hardest - the latter is the one that has their heart in it. Perhaps we should consider some of what Washington had to say and apply it to the now.
"few things, if any, are capable of making one so blind and narrow as race prejudice" (14,20). I found this passage from the next chapter very realistic. Think about it... I am sure there is at least one culture you think less of. Think about it, African Americans, Asians, a European culture of some sort (Spanish, French, Italian), Latin Americans. Even taking the word "race" out of the quote would still make it true. Let's instead insert "culture."
Washington seemed ahead of his time. Or maybe it's just that things he said still hold so true. It's extremely difficult to move past things that are engrained into our heritage. One cannot help but look down on at least one other. Every race has it, every person has it, and every culture has it. It's realyl kind of sad that human nature pushes us to find something inferior in order to make ourselves feel better.