Signs of the Times

Topic: The Practice of Unselfishness

[From the Herald, Alhambra, California]

When Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler told the freshman class of Columbia College that selfishness never walked with education, he undoubtedly meant that it had no companionship with true culture. For if education implies merely worldly knowledge, then, of course, history is rather full of men who had it but whose careers were more Machiavellian than altruistic. In characteristic straight-from-the-shoulder language, Dr. Butler declared: "Who thinks only of himself is hopelessly uneducated. He is not educated, no matter how instructed he may be." Conversely it may be said that the unselfish cannot be uncultured. Unrecorded in "the short and simple annals of the poor," innocent of all scholastic advantage, are the unobtrusive deeds of unnumbered obscure, useful men and women, the sweet fragrance of whose lives made happier their little worlds. Surely of such it must be written that they possessed the truest culture.

August 8, 1936

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