"A painter once wanted a picture of innocence, and drew from life the likeness of a child at prayer. The little suppliant was kneeling by his mother. The palms of his hands were reverently pressed together, and his mild blue eyes were upturned with the expression of devotion and peace. The portrait was much prized by the painter, who hung it up on his wall, and called it "Innocence."
Years passed away, and the artist became an old man. Still the picture hung there. He had often thought of painting a counterpart, - the picture of guilt, - but had not found the opportunity. At last he effected his purpose by paying a visit to a neighboring jail. On the damp floor of his cell lay a wretched culprit heavily ironed. Wasted was his body, and hollow his eyes; vice was visible in his face. The painter succeeded admirably; and the portraits were hung side by side for "Innocence" and "Guilt."
The two originals of the pictures were discovered to be one and the same person, - first, in the innocence of childhood! second, in the degradation of guilt and sin and evil habits."
This little story from "Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden comes from his chapter on "Habit". It's a strong reminder for us to build good habits in our children, because, after all, we are creatures of habit.
Picture by Jacqueling Roberts