Saturday, August 06, 2011


I'm reading in my new old book by Samuel Smiles titled "Character". It is rich in illustrations and guidance about character. In the following piece he tells of Edward Freer, a French soldier and the power of his influence. It picks up with a narrative listing the many who died in the battle.

"In so doing it lost many brave men, and of two who fell I will speak.

The first, low in rank, Edward Freer, being but a lieutenant, was rich in honor, for he bore many scars and was young of days. He was only nineteen, and had seen more combats and sieges than he could count years. Slight in person, and of such surpassing and delicate beauty that the Spaniards often thought him a girl disguised in man’s clothing, he was yet so vigorous, so active, so brave, that the most daring and experienced veterans watched his looks on the field of battle, and would obey his slightest sign in the most difficult situations. His education was incomplete, yet were his natural powers so happy the keenest and best-furnished intellects shrunk from an encounter of wit. And all his thoughts and aspirations were proud and noble, indicating future greatness if destiny had so willed it."

I like this illustration of the power of character and Smiles goes on to say that – “Character tells in all conditions of life. The man of good character in a workshop will give the tone to his fellows, and elevate their entire aspirations. Thus Franklin, while a workman in London, is said to have reformed the manners of an entire workshop”.

I have certainly seen this play out over and over at Teen Challenge, where one man who is serious and devout sends ripples across the entire men’s population for good.

The above picture is of a young girl who just recently gained access to an education and is eager to help those who struggle as well.

Photo by Matt Blauer

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