Address to Girl Guides (motto: Be Prepared) —St.
Andrew’s, May 29th, 1932.
In Scotland gooseberries and
raspberries grow better than they do in the Argentine. In some places
where there are large fields of fruit, competitions are held for boys and
girls, to see who can pull the most berries in a certain time, and who can
pull the bushes cleanest. Boys and girls are given one long row each of
berry bushes, and when the whistle blows, everybody begins. When the
whistle blows again, everybody stops. The owner of the field weighs the
baskets, and the boy and the girl who have pulled the most, get the
prizes. Every berry you leave on a bush where you have been pulling is a
mark against you.
Now, would you like to know how to
succeed if you were trying this competition. This is the way.
1. Stick to your bush.
Don’t run about from bush to bush, picking the berries you see first.
That wastes a lot of time, and makes you excited. Quietly stick to your
bush and pull quickly.
2. Get down to your work.
You’ll have to bend your back, and sometimes
kneel on the ground, for lots of the biggest berries are low down.
"O England is a garden, and
every gardener sees
"That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees."
3. Look up. When you’re
kneeling down or lying down, don’t forget to look up. Some of the
biggest berries are often half hidden by the leaves and you won’t see
them unless you look from below, through the bush, to the sky.
Now that’s the way to succeed and to
be prepared for life too. Stick to your bush
—remember that your lessons at school are the
most important thing just now for you if you are to win a prize in the
great competition of life later on.
Then get down to your
work—that means, work hard. You can’t be a good footballer, or hockey
player unless you train. You can’t play the piano well unless you practise.
There is a text in the Bible which says: "To him that hath shall be
given". That doesn’t mean what a lot of people think it means. It means
this — to him that hath faithfulness, shall more power be given. The boy
that works hard will get more ability. The girl that doesn’t work hard —
the girl that doesn’t practise the piano — will soon forget everything.
From her "shall be taken away even that which she hath".
Then last of all — look up.
You see some of the best berries when you look at the sky, from below the
bush. Make your work something between you and God. Ask His help.
He is like your good father and mother. He wants to see you doing well.
Look up for He looks down.