Young men, life is before you. Two voices are calling you – one coming out from the swamps of selfishness and force, where success means death; and the other from the hilltops of justice and progress, where even failure brings glory.

Two lights are seen in your horizon – one the fast fading marsh light of power, and the other the slowly rising sun of human brotherhood.

Two ways lie open for you – one leading to an even lower and lower plane, where are heard the cries of despair and the curses of the poor, where manhood shrivels and possession rots down the possessor; and the other leading to the highlands of the morning, where are heard the glad shouts of humanity and where honest effort is rewarded with immortality.

Written by John P. Altgeld and quoted in Elbert Hubbard’s Scrapbook.

Image: Oliver Ivanov