so much as we need Courts of Explanation and Courts
of Reconciliation and Courts of Understanding.
\Yhen you have divorced two people you have
simply turned two soured souls into society to exer-
cise a souring influence on others.
The most powerful argument in favor of the di-
vorce grist is that divorce is in the interest of the
happiness of the parties concerned and not society ;
and that argument is completely neutralized by the
fact that the happiness of those parties more often
consists in saving their marriage than in destroying it.
A certain lawyer, who once did a large divorce
business, reformed, and for the purpose of making
an experiment for his own satisfaction began to be
the friendly adviser of all who applied to him to obtain
divorces for them. Their application opened the door
for his inquiries, and he found himself able in all but
a negligible percentage of cases to be able to effect a
good understanding and reconciliation.
Our more progressive communities also are wak-
ing up to the folly of grinding out divorces wholesale.
They are now establishing intermediary courts where
the applicants for divorce may be reasoned with.
It is not to be expected that this official interven-
tion for the sake of preventing divorce is going to be
fully successful. In the first place, the relation of
adviser in such matters should not be official at all,
but friendly. In the second place, the official adviser
is seldom the type of person who knows the profounder
phases of the problem with which he deals. In the
third place, the people whose domestic life is most
worth saving are the very people with whom even
these intermediary institutions would hesitate to deal.
Yet it is true that husband and wife, in circum-
stances of domestic bitterness, seldom possess the
means of coming to an understanding by themselves.
It is one of the strange aspects of this difficulty that
people who, of all the people in the world, are closest
to each other, should in their own most intimate and
important concerns be farthest apart. But so it is
and it is far from being the only paradox that human
There must be some outside influence from some-
where to enable two such unfortunate people to see
their true condition. And even this influence cannot
be effective unless the man and woman themselves
adopt a spirit of simplicity and regard themselves as
a grown hoy and a grown girl who have simply lost
their way in one of life's most intricate forests. Only
in this spirit can they profit by that which the heart
HOW MUCH DOMESTIC TROUBLE IS PREVENTABLE?
of friendliness and the wisdom of experience would
If it could be made clear as a matter of educa-
tion or public information that changes of temperature
in the married life are not abnormal but perfectly
natural ; if it could be made clear that the day of
dreams comes to an end and the day of grown-up
reality begins ; if it could be very strongly insisted that
team-work, team-work and again team-work is the
chief rule of domestic success absolute confidence,
loyalty and exchange of views many domestic sor-
rows would be avoided.
And then if it could be made clear to everybody
that the idea of divorce being an escape is not true
that instead of being an escape, divorce is more likely
to be a leap into the fire that would be of vast as-
If the testimony of divorcees could be taken on
this point, the revelation would be startling.
Marriage may be repaired ; it is broken at great
Domestic happiness is not only of private im-
portance. It is the world's business, the future's busi-
ness, how our domestic life goes. A great many un-
desirable conditions in the present day can be traced
by the untoward domestic conditions.
Take a shop which is manned hv men of unhappv
home life and compare it with a shop manned bv men
whose home life is happv, and yon will see a vast dif-
ference in the quality and quantitv of the output.
Moreover, yon will see a vast difference in the wisdom
and reasonableness with which the men manage their
private and industrial affairs.
The business man who is in domestic difficult v.
and who is not doing anvthing to clear it up, is up
against the strongest kind of competition in the busi-
ness man whose home affairs are well adjusted. It
would be an interesting sociological investigation to
compute how manv business failures have been con-
nected with domestic failures.
A man's first success ought to be in hi-; home.
'I here are no two men and women on the lace of"
the globe, no matter how much ihev mav prate about
"affinity," difference of temperament and "incompati-
bility," who could not together make a most excellent
home, one that would attract the widest and worthiest
circle of friends, if they only wanted to.
And it would be worth doing. It would be the
strongest asset either of them could have.
There is a baneful connection between domestic
failure and every other kind of failure.
But cheating the domestic bogie means team-work.
It means talking it out together. It means compromise
here and there. It means experiments, now with her
way of managing matters, now with his. It means
"bear and forbear" and the old-fashioned rule that
only one shall be grouchy at a time. It means a sense
of humor, too, for the oldest and wisest of us are
only boys and girls.
But perhaps it means first and deepest of all the
solid fact that domestic difficulty is absolutely pre-
ventable. It is not fated. It is not necessary. It is
not inevitable. It is preventable. And if through ig-
norance or ill-will it is not prevented, then it is very
far from the necessity of going through to a break-up,
for it is curable.
Farming the Food-Raising
NOW that the planting time has come, it is the
duty of everyone who can to get out of the
factories and into the fields to raise food. Our all-
year factory life is a mistake. It is a physical as well
as an economic mistake. We somehow got started
on the wrong track when the industrial system was
established in America. Factory and farm should
have been organized as adjuncts one of the other, and
not as competitors. Men were never meant to stay
within walls while Nature is waking the Earth to
her annual labor and clothing the visible creation with
beauty and fertility.
If we adopted the practice of going outdoors to
work when outdoor work was the seasonable and
natural thing to do, and came back to indoor work
when the food-producing processes of Nature were
complete, we should be a happier, healthier people
and many of our economic problems would be solved.
It is the nature of men, when the spring-time
comes, to wish to work in the soil. They take a de-
light in the wholesome odor of the freshly upturned
earth in their back yards. There is a deep instinct
for the soil in every one of us. Where is the man who
has not wished scores of times that he might live and
work in the countrv among growing things? Our
natures crave direct contact with Nature herself.
The pity is that life is not organized so that this
perfectly wholesome instinct might be gratified. If
we could all leave the factories when the time comes
to plant corn, and return to the factories after the
harvest, not only would we be better men physically
and mentally, but the effect on the social situation
would be most beneficial.
We are engaged in something like that in our fac-
tories. We are encouraging the men who can do so
to go back to their land, raise a crop, and come back
to us when the crop is harvested.
A man who works on the land in the proper season,
and returns to work in the factory when the land is
resting, is living a very wise program. He is living
his life in rhythm with Nature. He is maintaining
his health. He is keeping his mind in fine tone. And
he is doing a service to society.
We may talk as much as we please about in-
dustrialism, but the fact remains that Agriculture is
the first of the arts it is basic. No wheels turn, no
invention thrives, no commerce is carried on, no busi-
ness is done if the furrows remain unturned. The
farmer heads the van. When he stops the whole
world-procession comes to a standstill.
Everyone knows this. That is to say, everyone
assents to the truth when such a statement is made.
But very few realize it. Fewer still ever think of it
as imposing a personal obligation on themselves.
If we had the complete figures, showing to how
great an extent the farm had been abandoned for
the factory, they would be startling. They are startling
enough for a single large concern.
In one factory it was found that 10 per cent of the
men- had come directly from the farm to work in the
factory, and half of these were owners of farms.
Bear in mind, it is not the exodus of farmers'
children we are considering now that exodus which
has been going on since the city lights first attracted
boys from paternal acres but the exodus of the
farmers themselves, the mature generation upon whom
the weight of agricultural responsibility rests.
These men have come in by hundreds and thou-
sands to take advantage of the high wages paid in
modern industry. They are a good class of work-
man. They are, for the most part, sober, steady,
thrifty and intelligent. It is easy to understand why
any employer should wish to keep them.
But if the employer will check up his classifica-
tion lists showing from what previous occupations his
employes have come, he will very directly be met by
the question whether he is not party to a serious dis-
FARMING THE FOOD-RAISING INDUSTRY
location of effort by inducing to stay with him men
who would be better employed raising food.
These farmers should be helped to see that any
financial benefit they may seem to derive from farm-
abandonment is only apparent and temporary. That
is, in ceasing to raise food they are creating a condi-
tion which nullifies the benefits of high wages. The
price of food today is one of the reasons why our
high wages possess less purchasing power than they
should, and the high price of food is due to a decrease
in the food supply, which in turn is caused by the
movement from farm to factory.
The man who comes from the farm to the factory
for the sake of high wages may seem to profit for a
time, but he is making it harder for everyone else, and
eventually for himself also- for when he ceases to be
a producer of food, becoming merely a consumer, he
is caught in the jaws of the very situation he has
helped to create.
If a factory worker's land is lying idle, he should
go and work it always with the understanding that
he can come back to the shop, if he wishes, when the
crop is harvested.
If he has rented his farm, he should go back at
this season and see that it is being properly planted
The knowledge of farming is so precious that
everyone who possesses it has a sacred duty to use it.
Experienced farmers ought to be as unwilling to leave
the land to inexperienced hands as are engineers to
leave valuable machinery in the hands of amateurs.
It is not always possible to send back the man who
did hired work on the farm, for often that would
mean turning him out of one job to seek another
\\ Inch he might fail to find.
lint it we wen- living under a plan where it was
understood that tin- Spring and Summer months were
the months ot outdoor work, these matters would be
more easilv adjusted.
1 urn aside trom the tanning ((ueslion tor a mo-
ment and look at the building question. In the upset
ot conditions that followed upon war, the various fac-
torv industries absorbed thousand^ of trained build-
ers carpenters, bricklayers, stone masons, plaster-
Now, building is largely a seasonal trade. That
is, it is best pursued in the ''outdoor months." What
a waste of power it has been to allow builders to hi-
bernate through the winter, waiting for the building
season to come round.
And what an equal waste of skill it has been
when experienced building mechanics have been forced
into factories to escape the losses of the winter sea-
son, and, in order to hold their jobs in the factories,
have been forced to stay there all through the building
season when they might have been outdoors helping
to build homes for the people or shops for industry.
What a waste this all-year system has been, any-
way! If the farmer could get away from the shop
to till his farm in the planting, growing and harvest-
ing season (it is only a small part of the year, after
all), and if the builder could get away from the shop
to ply his useful trade in its season, how much better
they would be, and how much smoother the world
Suppose we all moved outdoors every Spring and
Summer the whole nation with its wife and family
and lived the wholesome life of outdoor work for
three or four months ! Wouldn't that be very much
better than an insipid vacation at some inane sum-
And after that we would all move back to the city
for the Fall and Winter work in the mechanical and
manufacturing field. But how much better we would
be in every way upon our return ! How invigorated !
How tuned up ! How balanced we would feel !
Well, it is not at all impossible.
What is desirable and right is never impossible.
It would only mean a little team-work, a little less
attention to greedy ambition and a little more atten-
tion to life.
Those who are rich find it desirable to go away
for three or four months a year and dawdle in idle-
ness around some fancy winter or summer resort.
The rank and file of the American people would not
waste their time that way even if they could. But
FARMING THE FOOD-RAISING INDUSTRY
they would provide the team-work necessary to this
outdoor seasonal employment, and they would be quick
to see how much more evenly Nature's contribution
and Humanity's contribution to Life would be
It is hardly possible to doubt that much of the
unrest we see about us is the result of an unnatural
mode of life. Men who do the same thing continu-
ously the year round, in the midst of the same scenes,
and shut away from the health of the sun and the
spaciousness of the great out-of-doors, are hardly
to be blamed if they begin to see matters in a gloomy
or distorted light.
The physical strain consequent upon unnatural
modes of life has a great deal to do with the causation
of social irritability and general discontent.
Why should a change of scene always be in the
nature of a vacation, or upon the doctor's orders?
Why should we not have it as a part of the normal
workaday affairs of life?
What is there in life that should hamper normal
and wholesome modes of living? And what is there
in industry incompatible /with all the arts receiving in
their turn the attention of those qualified to serve in
It may be objected that if the forces of industry
were withdrawn from the shops every summer it
would impede production. But we must look at the
matter from the most universal point of view.
We must consider the increased energy of the
industrial forces that should spend three or four
months every year in outdoor work.
We must also consider the effect on the cost of
living which would result from this general return
to the fields.
Besides this, we must consider the great and steadv
increase of general needs which such a program would
stimulate, and the prevention of "slack times" every-
The farm has its "slack times." That is the time
for the fanner to conic- into the factor}- and help pro-
duce the things he needs to till the farm.
The factory also has its "slack times." That is
the time for the workman to go out to the land to
help produce the food which is the ultimate factor in
all human activity.
Thus, by taking the "slack" out of every line of
work through the application of this seasonal dis-
posal of industry, we should be restoring the balance
between the artificial and the natural.
But not the least, perhaps by far the greatest
benefit would be the more balanced view of life we
should thus obtain. The mixing of the arts*is not only
beneficial in a material way, but it makes for breadth
of mind and fairness of judgment. A great deal of
our unrest today is the result of narrowness of mind
and prejudiced judgment. If our work were more
diversified, if we saw more sides of life, if we saw
how necessary was one factor to another, we should
be more balanced.
Every man is better for a period of work under
the open sky. It clears his mind of cobwebs. It
draws awav the ill-humors of the blood. It puts us
in touch with the ancient harmony of night and day,
sun and shower, seedtime and harvest. We can live
so closely with one thing and fill our minds so com-
pletely with one aspect of life as to become unbalanced
as far as any fair and practicable judgment upon the
whole of life is concerned.
Let us never be afraid of these ideals of better
things. The very fact that they come to us is a
prophecy that one day the reality will come, too. And
where an ideal is social enough to include all of us
in a new and beneficial plan, it is pretty certain to
be a true ideal, destined to realization.
"A Few Strong Instincts and
a Few Plain Rules"
ALL that the world needs for the guidance of its
life could be written on two pages of a child's
copy book. "A few strong instincts and a few plain
rules" would set the world singing on its way, in-
stead of tying it up in the periodical blunders which
hinder progress and give a sense of infinite and ir-
Learning may need large space, thousands of vol-
umes, vast experiment and failure and progress ; but,
strange to say, Wisdom carries very little of such
There are a few truths all of us know when we
have reached the more mature years, and we see
them to be the very foundation wisdom of life plain,
enduring, true. But when we happen to mention
them in conversation we are met, if not with the
words, then with the spirit which says, "Old stuff!
Give us something new."
A curious illusion persists among us that because
we have heard a thing, we therefore know it. Repeti-
tion is not desired. We begin to refer contemptu-
ously to "platitudes."
Well, it is verv evident to the observer that a
"platitude" is a truth of which everybody has heard,
but which few really knou'.
The world has heard everything that is necessary
to the re-establishment of life in universal peace, uni-
versal prosperity, and universal progress. It ha>
heard every essential principle any number of times.
And vet then- is no sign that it fully knows them.
If you saw a man continually making sums on
paper in which 2 plus 2 equaled 5, you would say,
"But 2 plus 2 equals 4."
"Yes, yes," the man would reply, "every school
child knows that. Tell me something new," and go
on making the same mistake.
He would be behaving very much like the human
"Yes, yes," says the world impatiently, when a
simple principle of life is uttered, "we know that. We
heard it when we were children. Everybody knows
that. Give us something new," and goes on in the
same way as before.
What does it mean? Simply that we do not know
anything until, convinced of its truth, we act upon it.
The truth of things escapes us, mostly because
truth is so simple. If it came only in the scholar's
vesture, in a dead and learned language, behind a
barrier of books which a lifetime would not suffice
to master, it would be hardly possible that the world
should miss being wise.
But Wisdom comes in such simple guise that more
often she is received by the peasant than by the prince.
All the personal and social morality known to the
race is summed up in the brief Ten Commandments,
and all the higher and finer principles of life are sum-
med up in the Sermon on the Mount, and both of
them together are not enough to fill a penny pamphlet.
Whatever may be the form in which the World
Covenant of the Nations is written, you will find
every true assertion in it harking back to the Deca-
logue ; and whatever may be the finer service attained
by the choicer spirits among mankind, it will never
exceed the Words Spoken on the Mount.
And yet, these would be among the things of which
lovers of newness would say, "It is old and stale.
Give us something new."
Now, as a matter of fact, there isn't anything new ;
and if there were it could only be attained through a
complete use and absorption of what is old and true.
At the core of everything is The Principle, and
principles are from eternity and to eternity.
All of our apparent going forward is simply a
progress farther into the heart of Principle. It is not
a learning of new things, but a new learning of the old.
It has always been wrong to steal ; it alwavs will
"A FEW STRONG INSTINCTS AND A FEW PLAIN RULES"
be wrong to steal, whether it affects the potatoes a
farmer has planted, the child's affection which the
parent possesses, or the territory which forms an in-
tegral part of a nation's sovereignty.
If you take this single matter of stealing, and
trace it through all the operations of the political,
financial, industrial, social and moral worlds, you will
find that shall we say more than half ? of the world's
trouble is caused by plain stealing.
If the entire story of the recent war including the
quarter century of preparation for it is studied along
the line of this single clue of stealing, the discoveries
would be amazing.
It is not too much to say that if the world were
to learn no more in the next century than to live by
the truths it already knows, the year 2,000 would
dawn upon an Earth without a single sore problem.
So much of our progress consists in going back and
starting over again on another plan, when it might
consist in going from one complete conquest to an-
Yet, if you insist on these simple, fundamental
principles without which no substantial achievement
is possible anywhere, the ready retort is that "every-
body knows them."
Everybody does not know them, although every-
body may have heard of them.
You don't know that a lie is wrong until you know
that when lies are circulated in the human inter-
change of speech, it is like flooding monetary currency
with bogus coins.
Speech is the currency of thought among men.
We depend more on the genuineness of men's words
than we do on the genuineness of the coins that cir-
culate among us. Let the suspicion get abroad that
men's words are bogus and not the coinage of truth,
and the whole system of human exchange breaks down.
Until we know that, until we act upon the knowl-
edge that falsehoods injure the most delicate nerves
in the social body, we cannot be said to know the
simple principle of truth-telling. And until we do
know it, it doesn't matter how many new-fangled
matters may be presented to please our fancy. Truth-
telling is mighty old-fashioned, but it will still be a
vital principle a million years hence, wherever con-
fidence between man and man is the basis of fellow-
ship or co-operation.
If a censor should go through the world today,
cleaning out everything that needs a lie to bolster it
up, abolishing everything that has the taint of deceit
upon it, forbidding everything that needs to be con-
cealed or dissembled, there would be such a house-
cleaning in governments, banking houses, industries,
societies and combinations as would leave the world
"Why, it is the very lack of confidence in the ability
of high-placed persons to tell the truth and stand by
it that has led to all the difficulty at the Conference of
Paris ! The nations have no confidence in each other's
fair professions. \\hy ? Simply because they feel
that this "old stuff," this "platitude" about the basic
importance of truth has not yet been learned by the
Why demand novelties for,, a world that has yet to
learn the A B C of common man-to-man honesty?
The impatience of the world goes even deeper
than that. There is not only a tendency to thrust aside
these old-fashioned basic principles, but there is a
still more dangerous tendency to believe that morality
of mind and body has no place in big affairs at all.
"Yes, yes." is a common remark, "we take these
things for granted without mentioning them."
The trouble is that we do not take them for
granted unless we insist upon them. This world is