Chapter 16: Reflections

And so ends my odyssey. Why a young man should go West to make a living the hardest way, I cannot see. The monotonous landscape, with its perpetual evergreens can in no wise compare with the beautiful hardwood forest of New York State. The mountains are not as impressive as the Adirondacks, and the people are much the same. But the thing that called me back the strongest was the knowledge that my good parents who had sacrificed so much of worry, money and love upon my unworthy head, were lonesome for me, and I for them. Our family was one of those in which each considered the rest as part of a unit, all of which was necessary to the success of each. I wished to have the opportunity to return in part what I had so selfishly taken, and I could see no earthly sense in leaving such a beautiful home to establish other imitation relations among strangers.

My father was not an ordinary man. He was one that everyone sought for advice and companionship. To have passed up such a chance of comradeship with him would have been extremely foolish on my part, and I thank God for the inspiration his parenthood has meant to me. I may have been justly accused of being tied too closely by the apron strings of my parents. I realize that I have been somewhat inclined to copy their ways, and perhaps have suffered somewhat in initiative. That I am trying to overcome, but it is still my opinion that I have become more worthy under their influence than I ever would by standing alone. After all, we all copy others whom we admire and no one can stand alone.

Man lives as part of the whole. God is interested in men as a group, not as individuals, and it is our duty to give and receive all that is worthy that the race of men on earth may prosper. We must hand on the best traditions we know, improving on them or altering them to suit changing conditions of life, but ever bearing our responsibility in mind to pass the good word along, particularly to our children.

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