The word "breadth," as descriptive of a mental attitude, is commonly accepted to mean that liberal and withal judicial state of mind which, through a larger view and more generous interpretation, is freed from the limitations imposed by bias. The majority of people, unwittingly or otherwise, are inclined to consider themselves in this category, as the element of pride indicates such a state of mind to be desirable, and self-flattery seems indigenous to the human family. It follows, therefore, that they designate those who agree with them as "broad-minded;" those who think differently are considered "narrow."

Pondering this phase of human nature, the question comes, What is "narrowness" or "breadth"? "Narrowness" has its place. It is proper and right, under certain conditions, to be narrow, and to allow our path to be circumscribed. The results desired should govern our mode of progress. The pureness of a mountain brook is due to the restraint imposed by its rocky banks, which restrict its activity to a forward movement only. Later on, it descends to the plain: the restraint is removed, and it flows out over the level. Lacking the restraint, it has indeed become "broad," but it has also become sluggish, and instead of a pure and sparkling stream it is now only a stagnant pool, with but little life and harboring corrupt growths. It has become "broad," but at the expense of its real life.

February 13, 1909

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