On Character and Psychology

Handwritten: “I believe in hands that work, brains that think, and hearts that love.” -Frances Plaisted

p. 174 (handwritten, unattributed) “you can never do a kindness too soon because you never know when it will be too late”

From a poem called “Worry” by Strickland Gillian in Ladies Home Journal: “…spare your ravings, bugbear of today//Like all the rest, you soon must pass away.”

Under Page H, “The High School Aims” handwritten:

1.     To give culture

2.     An understanding of the principles of the laws of the universe formulated by science

3.     Training in use of Mother Tongue

4.     Love for good literature

5.     Broader outlook upon the social and religious life of the world’s people

An advice column by Sophie Irene Loeb explains how to “Cultivate Forgetting” and Fran handwrites one of her favorite lines from it:

“Forget the person who has snubbed you and remember the one who has smiled on you.”

Other lines:

“Forget that the man in the flat below has no right to his music machine when you want to rest after dinner; for you may have an alarm clock that goes off when he’s asleep.”

“Forget that your religion is the only one, and remember that there are others reaching the same goal by other routes.”

“Forget the foolish theory that you can marry a man to reform him.”

And, next to Forgetting is “A Good Prescription For Daily Use”: Don’t worry; Don’t hurry; Sleep and rest abundantly; Spend less nervous energy each day than you make; be cheerful; Think only healthful thoughts; Avoid passion and excitement; Associate with healthy people; Don’t carry the whole world on your shoulders”; Never despair.  Each had an explanatory quote:

“The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman.”

“A moment’s anger may be fatal.”

“Health is contagious as well as disease.”

“Lost hope is a fatal disease.”

“About Popularity”: If you Forget that you want it; Forget about yourself; Think of others and their wants – you’ll be popular

“Bonne Chance” cheers up “A Globe Maniac” who is discouraged because she is confined by illness; says “We all suffer from self pity once in a while” and offers a favorite verse:

If we notice little pains,

If we quite forget our losses,

And remembered all our gains,

If we looked for people’s virtues,

And their faults refused to see,

What a comfortable and happy,

Cheerful place this world could be.

On Page 9, Frances pasted two Dale Carnegie columns from 1937. Heralded as the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” his columns – loosely linked subjects and observations about human nature — become a regular in her scrapbook. In these:

“Getting on with neighbors”: Something “radically wrong” with someone who can’t get along with his neighbors. And, a neighbor’s views of a person are most revealing of that individual’s character. Quotes Dwight L. Moody, “the great evangelist of another generation”: “Character is what you are in the dark.”

“On winning an argument”: he quotes Montaigne: “He who establishes his argument by noise and command, shows that his argument is weak.”


“Take a tip from Theodore Roosevelt: He overcame his fear by acting as if he wasn’t afraid.”

In ink at the top of page 18 she writes and underlines each word: “appear well groomed Every Single Day

Under that dictum she pastes a column by James Allen, “As a Man Thinketh”: “A Man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts…. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.”

Frances writes in pen: “I once had a professor who advised his students to pin themselves to the coat-tails of a big man and go along with him. The idea that we must tackle life single-handedly, that we must always be on our own is a fallacious one. Life is a cooperative enterprise.

Hand written ink, top of p 23: “Do the right and always deserve the best.”

“Spiritual Courage and Good Health Crushes Fear”, by Angelo Patri:

Emulate our forefathers. They were “afraid of nothing. They faced hunger, cold, exile, hostile savages in their battle for freedom and they won. Their faith was stronger than their fear and they knew the quality of peace they wanted. It was none of the do-nothing, say-nothing sort that seems to be popular these days.” >>>

[So, Angelo Patri denounces the youth who will become know as the Greatest Generation to their grandchildren to come]

Handwritten: Two Classes of people in World

1. Successful people: small group

1)   Healthy body

2)   Clear mind

3)   Brave heart

2. Unsuccessful People: large group

1) Those who can’t concentrate

Handwritten at top of p 47: “Always face the thing you fear.”

“Make your Name Familiar”

Psychologist describes way to make people remember your name: the psychology of advertising: In business and in social life, remind listeners of your name by quoting others who use your name: In conversation Clyde says, “That’s the same point that Mr. Smith brought out last week, when he said, ‘Clyde, how can you sell at a lower price than your competitor?’” “Politicians and all those people who are popular have employed this same method of introducing and re-introducing their names into the conversation until they have ‘taught’ their public to remember them.”

“Derisive Use of Boy Scout Name is Insult to Citizens” by Angelo Patri

“Again I protest against the sneer some writers direct at the Boy Scouts by implication when they belittle some man’s action, or scorn some hypocritical gesture of a politician, “like a Boy Scout doing his daily good deed.”…

1938: Column by Boake Carter: “Self-Discipline”

… “With one-third of the Nation dependent on Government checks; with the most prolific criminals between the ages of 17 and 25,” correspondent asks question: “What do you consider the most valuable investment a young person can make in life?”

Argues that “self-discipline” is answer. Historic “rugged individualism” became “ruthless” over-confidence, which led to 1929 collapse: no self-discipline; anarchy; social disorder. “The more that is handed to people, free for the asking, the more dissatisfied they become and the more they demand.”

Dale Carnegie column: “Life is a Boomerang”: A daughter complains to a father that no one at college likes her. He asks, have you invited them to anything? No, she says. So she throws a party, invites all the popular girls, and all is ok. Lesson: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. “Life is a boomerang: What you give is what you get.”

Poem “Cultivate Joy!” by Anne Campbell [one of Fran’s favorite poets]

“Worry and Life”: “People are deprived of rest, happiness and ability for best work through worry”

“Game of Life Best Played By Those Without Pride or Prejudice”: “Smugness Retards Progress and Prejudgment Continually Sets One Back, Besides Influencing Others”

Dale Carnegie Bids Audience to be More Intelligently Selfish”: Author of “How To Win Friends and Influence People”; Lecture at Tremont Temple: Learn from your puppy, “the western world’s best winner of friends.”

“Be kind to other people and get the most out of them….Always make the other person feel important and do it sincerely….Remember names…Never criticize a man harshly. Let us set aside six months to perfect ourselves….” Master the art of conversation; suit the topic to the person. Husbands: give tokens of affection to wives. Wives: “Dorothy Dix says no woman should get married until she has kissed the Blarney Stone.” [[Blarney Stone: myth: to Kiss it is to gain skill, eloquence in flattery, cleverness]]

Thomas Edison

Dale Carnegie column, 1938, includes comments from Thomas A. Edison: When asked what were the greatest safeguards against temptation: “I’d suggest getting a job and working so hard that temptation wouldn’t exist.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Every man I meet is my superior in some way, in that I learn from him.” Do you learn from everyone with who you come in contact?

Poem from The Cincinnati Times-Tribune by B. Y. Williams, “Being A Friend”

Being a friend is a gallant adventure//You who attempt it must have in your breast//Courage unfailing, and faith that no censure//Daunts or dismays….

1938 Poem: “Today” by Anne Campbell

I cannot read Tomorrow’s skies//They may be lowering and gray//But I have learned to keep my eyes//Within the confines of Today.///If I can solve Today’s distress,//And journey bravely toward the night,//I will have captured happiness//Before Today takes flight.//And by my bravery this hour,//Tomorrow’s way is plain and straight.….My apprehension and my doubt,//Like morning mist will fade away,//If valiantly I venture out//And solve the problems of Today!

Marjorie Hillis’ column for a reader who wants to know what a “well-read girl of 24 years should read”: includes

Fiction: Booth Tarkinton (The Magnificent Ambersons) ; Willa Cather (My Antonia); Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence); Sinclair Lewis (Main Street); Pearl Buck (The Good Earth); John Galsworthy (The Forsyte Saga); Arnold Bennett (Old Wives’ Tale); Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)

Nonfiction: Anne Lindbergh (North to the Orient); Alice Longworth (Crowded Hours); Lytton Strachey (Queen Victoria)

“Anxious Seat” column on “the painful jolt of going from school or college to work leaves its own scars. Bad enough thirty-five years ago, it is naturally far worse now.” Doctor at Harvard’s department of hygiene says, “‘While admissions to Harvard have doubled in thirty-five years, admissions to Stillman Infirmary have tripled.’ The increase year by year has been striking since the World War.”

“Unrest, insecurity, and anxiety” about their positions-to-be in this troubled modern world are given as the causes of the increase”….

Column by Psychologist: “Don’t Idle, But Set yourself a High and Distant Goal”

…”Too many people nowadays don’t care what happens in politics or religion or international relations. They don’t even care about morals. “What’s the dfference?” they nonchalantly ask.

We need more enthusiasm in life, and the only way to get this enthusiasm is to be a crusader, a missionary, attacking a major problem…

Take an inventory every month of your life. Find if you are moving forward constructively or marking time. Push yourself out where you will have to swim….”

The Globe’s Daily SHORT STORY : “Free Advice” by Madge McMahon

Story of a young wife tired of fights; decides to leave; calls husband at work to say Goodbye; voice on other end encourages her to think of marriage as hard work, to stop crying, and go home; voice confesses he is a psychiatrist and the woman got a wrong number. Woman goes home to husband; kisses and makes up. Later that night so-called psychiatrist, who is actually a bell-hop, tells his cronies he did his good deed for the day.

“They Talked About Marriage”: Skit at Boston College and panel discussion about the Marriage Contract. Characters debate the modern view of marriage as a document/contract just like any other contract in business, contrasted to the Roman Catholic view on the sanctity of marriage as covenant with God.

April 25, 1936: “Be A Good Sport”: Play the game according to the rules and with a smile instead of tears.”

1935 Column by Dorothy Dix

[Wiki Definition: Dorothy Dix (November 18, 1861 – December 16, 1951), was the pseudonym of U.S. journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer. As the forerunner of today’s popular advice columnists, Dorothy Dix was America’s highest paid and most widely read female journalist at the time of her death. Her advice on marriage was syndicated in newspapers around the world. With an estimated audience of 60 million readers, she became a popular and recognized figure on her travels abroad.]

“Just be Friendly, Modest And easy to get Along With – Talk Less and Hear More”:

Elements of popularity:  easy-going, good-natured, pleasant to live with; adaptability; friendliness; modesty; consideration of others; talk less, listen more (with examples)

“The road to success is hard and rough; comparatively few reach the end. Without DETERMINATION nobody reaches it.”…“Conditions have changed. There are millions idle against their will, ten millions at least. Opportunities seem fewer; the road to success, shining in the distance, is a rough, difficult road.…All the more reason for DETERMINED EFFORT. All the more necessity for a definite plan and for sticking to it.…In planning their lives young people will find it worth while to read Emerson’s essay, “Self-Reliance.” Here are a few extracts from that essay that the young might cut out for future, frequent reading:

“The power which resides in [a man] is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”…

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.”

p. 159- “How Is Your Mental Health?”

…”Medical science now recognizes that mental health cannot be sharply divided from physical health and that mental fitness, like physical fitness, is only relative.”… Overcome bad mental habits: worry, anger, jealousy, envy. Don’t worry about things you can’t change. Best way out of depression is action…. “Find some interest outside yourself. Try to make your religion…a source of mental strength and poise. Get a good hobby and become really absorbed in it. Learn again, if you have forgotten, how to play.”… President Elliott of Harvard, at age 90, was asked how he maintained happy, mentally vigorous old age. His reply: “I have always maintained a calm disposition, expectant of good.”…


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