The Morality of Civilization

June 16, 1916



     Men and women who are good Americans try to become strong and useful, worthy of their nation, that our country may become ever greater and better.  Therefore, they obey the laws of right living which the best Americans have always obeyed.





(Good Americans Control Themselves)


     Those who best control themselves can best serve their country.


1.  I will control my tongue, and will not allow it to speak 

    mean, vulgar or profane words.  I will think before I

    speak.  I will tell the truth and nothing but the truth.


2.  I will control my temper, and will not get angry when

    people or things displease me.  Even when indignant

    against wrong and contradicting falsehood, I will keep

    my self-control.


3.  I will control my thoughts, and will n not allow a

    foolish wish to spoil a wise purpose.


4.  I will control my actions.  I will be careful and

    thrifty, and insist on doing right.


5.  I will not ridicule nor defile the character of another;

    I will keep my self-respect, and help others to keep






(Good Americans Try to Gain & Keep Good Health)


     The welfare of our country depends upon those who are

physically fit for their daily work.  Therefore:


1.  I will try to take such food, sleep and exercise as will

    keep me always in good health.


2.  I will keep my clothes, my body and my mind clean.


3.  I will avoid those habits which would harm me, and will

    make and never break those habits which will help me.


4.  I will protect the health of others, and guard their

    safety as well as my own.


5.  I will grow strong and skillful.





(Good Americans are Kind)


     In America those who are different must live in the same communities.  We are of many different sorts, but we are one great people.  Every unkindness hurts common life, every kindness helps.  Therefore:


1.  I will be kind in all my thoughts.  I will bear no

    spites or grudges.  I will never despise anybody.


2.  I will be kind in all my speech.  I will never gossip

    nor will I speak unkindly of anyone.  Words may wound

    or heal.


3.  I will be kind in my acts.  I will not selfishly insist

    on having my own way.  I will be polite:  rude people

    are not good Americans.  I will not make unnecessary

    trouble for those who work for me, nor forget to be

    grateful.  I will be careful of other people's things.

    I will do my best to prevent cruelty, and will give

    help to those who are in need.






(Good Americans Play Fair)


    Strong play increases and trains one's strength and

courage.  Sportsmanship helps one to be a gentleman, a lady. 




1.  I will not cheat; I will keep the rules, but I will play

    the game hard, for the fun of the game, to win by

    strength and skill.  If I should not play fair, the

    loser would lose the fun of the game, the winner would

    lose his self-respect, and the game itself would become

    a mean and often cruel business.


2.  I will treat my opponents with courtesy, and trust them

    if they deserve it.  I will be friendly.


3.  If I play in a group game, I will play, not for my own

    glory, but for the success of my team.


4.  I will be a good loser or a generous winner.


5.  And in my work as well as in my play, I will be

    sportsmanlike - generous, fair, honorable.






(Good Americans are Self-Reliant)


     Self-conceit is silly, but self-reliance is necessary to men and women who would be strong and useful.


1.  I will gladly listen to the advice of older and wiser

    people; I will reverence the wishes of those who love

    and care for me, and who know life and me better than I.

    I will develop independence and wisdom to choose for

    myself, act for myself, according to what seems right

    and fair and wise.


2.  I will not be afraid of being laughed at when I am

    right.  I will not be afraid of doing right when the

    crowd does wrong.


3.  When in danger, trouble or pain, I will be brave.  A

    coward does not make a good American.