A seeker for the truth of things paused on the steps of Hamline University Hall. “Little college,” he questioned, “do you know where you are going? Are you a plaything of time, following the will-o’-the-wisp of changing educational demands, or do you journey wisely, knowing wither you are bound?”
To the questioner’s ear, tuned to catch the inner meaning of things, came this answer:
“I am very much like you. Can you tell me just what the goal of your life-journey is? You are struggling on thru the days, buoyed up by the hope of at last obtaining some final good. Just what the nature of that attainment shall be you know not; it is each day of the journey that is your chief concern. If each day is a pearl of service, at last will come the crown. The life guided by high ideals will leave in its wake a pathway of light, a guidance to many a helpless stumbler. But a life without light can not give light to others.
“Whither am I bound? I can not point out to you the exact goal, for being human I am no wiser than you. I try to look hopefully into the future, but the present is my principal care. Judge me as I do you—by the path I travel. If I am each day in a position to give truth unto others, I must be going aright.
“I sometimes feel that we talk too much of efficiency, of practical application of education. Certainly all should be useful members of society, yet when I give all my energy to training men and women whose sole purpose shall be to advance in the material things of life, then shall I have lost my way—then shall I never attain unto high places, for the days will be taking me farther and farther into the sunless lowlands. You may know that I am journeying toward my soul’s highest good when I am giving to my young people the universal vision, that ever present realization of the boundless richness of life not to be found in books, without monetary value, inexpressible in human words. Just so soon as I fail to brush aside the film that keeps the inner eye from distinguishing between life’s trinkets and life’s treasures, I know not whither I am going; and none should follow me.”
“Whither Bound,” Alumni Quarterly of Hamline University, 13.1 (1916): 4-5.