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Let Him Have It
B. Carradine
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Learning, By Painful Experience.

TITLE: Let Him Have It

We have often observed boys gazing through the window of a confectionery at the dainties and sweet-meats within. We have also marked them with their faces pressed close to plank, rail or picket fence, looking with all their hearts in their eyes at the golden apples in the orchard, or the big watermelons turned up so invitingly to the gaze in a neighboring garden or field.

We today smile at the spectacle, but the day was when we longed for the fruit and there was no smile in us. The amusement felt now comes from having taking many trips over there in the Boys Eldorado. The apples were sour many times. The watermelons were overripe and feverish and made us sick. So somehow the enthusiast has been greatly chilled in regard to such territories and objects.

What are men and women but grown-up children? We have seen the same gaze in older eyes directed through restraining fences at fruit out of reach and which did not belong to the gazers.

Oh for that watermelon! said the longing look. Oh for that pleasure that I see afar off.

Suddenly something in life happens. A rail is displaced, a picket knocked down, or the fence is climbed over by divine or human permission. A voice within says, Pull the melon. Plug it. Cut a slice and eat. You do so, and lo! it was not what you expected. It was feverish. You grew sick at heart over the disappointment, but oh, how wise in head you became.

Ruskin in a sketch of his life tells us that when he was a baby in the arms of his nurse he saw a bronze tea urn. It was glittering hot with the boiling fluid in it, but it was quite pretty with its shining polished surface and so he wanted it. The nurse held him back, but he still screamed and reached for it. Finally his mother said quietly to the nurse, Let him have it.

He grasped the vessel and instantly let go with a howl of anguish. From that early age he learned not to reach for everything that was pretty and attractive. The lesson of letting some things alone was fairly burned into him.

So the education goes on. The patience of Immortal Love outwearies mortal sin. Wisdom streams into the mind from many different directions. The frost is seen to nip the flowers, sunsets fade in spite of all their beauty, the earth sounds hollow to the tread, and Heaven, pure, true, satisfying and eternal, wheels into view. This disenchantment of one world and enthrallment of another should occasion no soreness or bitterness, but bring about proper conditions of the soul, and the true attitude of life to man and God, while the garments of time are worn as one would the apparel of the body, ready to be laid aside when the hour for disrobing arrives.

Thank God for the wonderful schooling we obtain outside of colleges and universities.

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