Be Fair in All Things

Advice from the November 26, 1908 Skidmore New Era (Skidmore, Missouri), page 4:

Be Fair in All Things.
D. R. Baker, Ed. New Era.
Sir: — You asked me to contribute to the columns of your paper. I take the present opportunity to comply with your request, and shall take up a subject that it seems to me is one that deserves much more attention in the public press than is given to it, especially as the newspapers generally claim, and the claim is almost universally acknowledged as true, that the press is one of the greatest educators of our era.
The subject that I would impress upon the minds of the young men of our community is the advantages of being fair in all things — play fair in business and in sport.

Never try to shift the work that is yours to do upon another whose duties and labors are perhaps as heavy for them to bear as are yours.
I know there are many, not only young men, but older ones as well, that have imbibed the idea that most if not all great enterprises are in a measure a scheme of “graft” and that anything gotten by a trick is that much gain. There never was a greater mistake made by a young man just entering upon the real duties of life.

Let a man acquire the reputation of being untrustworthy or untruthful and it takes years to live it down, to say nothing of the hardships that that kind of a reputation imposes upon the individual himself. If a man is known to be dishonest or even suspected of dishonesty, it is more difficult for him to get employment or to rent a farm, or rent a house, or if he engages in any kind of business he will not have the support and patronage that a man who is known to be honest will receive. Then as a matter of self interest and policy alone, if no higher motive actuates you, there should be sufficient incentive to him from purely selfish interest.
Another thing I would call your attention to is that you must not think for a moment that you can be dishonest or deceive in business or be slow or careless in the discharge of your debts or obligations, of whatever nature, whether to individual or in your duties as a citizen. That your neighbors will not know of it — you and I and all of us are watched — our dealings are noted not only by those with whom we have dealings, but by others, and it is right that we should be judged as well, else there would be no distinction between the honest and dishonest man.

As I intimated in beginning this article that I thought the press should give more attention to this subject, I would say here that I think the clergy have missed many golden opportunities in overlooking or ignoring the subject of uprightness in character and business integrity from the standpoint of personal advancement. There are many and diverse questions relating to the future that are more or less confusing to many persons, but this subject as I have endeavored to present it, is one that all can understand, and can and should see the truth and logic of it.
One thing more and I will close this article. Never set up the plea that because some other man has evaded his obligation that you are excused.
Be a man, do your part!

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