Get Away from the Crowd
Get away from the crowd for a while, and think. Stand on one side and let the world run by, while you get acquainted with yourself and see what kind of a fellow you are. Ask yourself hard questions about yourself. Ascertain, from original sources, if you are really the manner of man you say you are; and if you are always honest; if you always tell the square, perfect truth in business details; if your life is as good and upright at eleven o’clock at night as it is at noon; if you are as good a temperance man on a fishing excursion as you are on a Sunday-school picnic; if you are as good when you go to the city as you are at home; if, in short, you are really the sort of man your father hopes you are and your sweetheart believes you are. Get on intimate terms with yourself, my boy, and, believe me, ever time you come out of one of those private interviews you will be stronger, better, purer man.
Do not be troubled because you have not great virtues. God made a million spears of grass where He made one tree. The earth is fringed and carpeted not with forests but with grasses. Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero nor a saint.
HENRY WARD BEECHER