The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success.
Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions, and spend one penny less than thy clear gains; then shall thy pocket begin to thrive; creditors will not insult, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee.
The most natural beauty in the world is honesty and moral truth. For all beauty is truth. True features make the beauty of the face true proportions, the beauty of architecture true measures, the beauty of harmony and music.
Every virtue gives a man a degree of felicity in some kind: honesty gives a man a good report; justice, estimation; prudence, respect; courtesy and liberality, affection; temperance gives health; fortitude, a quiet mind, not to be moved by any adversity.
There is a single reason why 99 out of 100 average business men never become leaders. That is their unwillingness to pay the price of responsibility. By the price of responsibility I mean hard driving, continual work... the courage to make decisions, to stand the gaff... the scourging honesty of never fooling yourself about yourself... And the grooves that lead to the heights are not made between nine and five. They are burned in by the midnight oil.
Despair is the offspring of fear; of laziness, and impatience; it argues a defect of spirit and resolution, and often of honesty too. I would not despair unless I saw my misfortune recorded in the book of fate; and signed and sealed by necessity.
Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid: then shalt thou reach the point of happiness and independence shall by thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.
Ethics is the science of human duty. Arithmetic tells man how to count his money; ethics how he should acquire it, whether by honesty or fraud. Geography is a map of the world; ethics is a beautiful map of duty. This ethics is not Christianity, it is not even religion; but it is the sister of religion, because the path of duty is in full harmony, as to quality and direction, with the path of God.