Girls, don’t bewail your lot in life (1918)


Categories: 1910s, For women, Money & work, Newspapers, Photos & photography
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1918-Woman seated with Underwood typewriter.tif

Girls, don’t bewail your lot in life

Any girl or woman who bewails her lot, who declares that if she had had such and such an advantage she would have become a success in this or that field, does not by any means deserve the sympathy which she is so anxious to receive.

Not one of us should blame fate or environment for what we are. If we feel that we are not the success we should be, it simply remains with ourselves to better our condition.

Sound philosophy

People who get ahead are workers — always. They do not waste time or energy brooding over their grievances, real or imaginary. They wisely resolve to make the most of each day and the opportunities it offers, and as a result push ahead, while others, less energetic, merely drift along.

Although many persons tell us that most lines are overcrowded, those of us who have any common sense at all know that a real live worker can not only get a foothold, but will, little by little, make progress, that is, if he or she is willing to keep on working and incidentally make the best of a lot of inconveniences or other unpleasant features.

Was it not Emerson who said something to this effect:

“Let a man make a better mouse trap than any other man, build his house in the woods, and the world will make a beaten path to his door.” Sound philosophy, this. Indeed, the moral is so plain one does not need to ponder long over it.

It must be delightfully satisfying to be singled out as a genius, and to have fame and fortune showered upon one, but as geniuses are very few and far between, and as the vast majority of us are simply ordinary, everyday folk, to whom the procuring of our bread and butter is a paramount issue, it would seem that the best and wisest course for us to follow is to frown down all idle daydreaming and put the right kind of effort into the duties that lie before us.

The girl who takes a pride in turning out accurate, neat work, and who at all times is dignified and womanly, is certainly acquitting herself splendidly. Indeed, a fair, or rather a full, measure of success is bound to come her way. Perhaps she feels that the position which she at present holds offers no future or no possible advancement. However, such a young woman should keep up courage, continue to dispose of each day’s tasks to the best of her ability, and meanwhile be on the lookout for a better place.

To become listless or indifferent because one must toil for a livelihood is the very poorest policy to follow. A “down in the mouth” person simply cannot put enthusiastic effort into his or her duties, and every one knows that the task performed half-heartedly is never well done. She who would fit herself for a better situation than the one which she at present holds must, without any question, take the right kind of interest in her work, no matter how ordinary or commonplace it may be.

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Competition is pretty keen in all lines at the present moment, and the person who doesn’t fully measure up to the requirements is not retained for any length of time. Therefore, how much better and wiser to adapt one’s self to circumstances, meanwhile resolving to get ahead and work unceasingly for that goal.
Photo: Woman seated with an Underwood typewriter, 1918


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