Story type: Essay
We all have our moments of imagining ourselves INDEPENDENT characters. We take pride in our independence and are never as foolish as when trying to prove how independent we are.
Every man, to begin with, is born absolutely at the mercy of his ancestry. You have not a thing in you, and you never will have a thing in you, that you did not inherit from some one of the thousands and thousands of ancestors, all of whom are dimly stored away in your complex make-up.
You may develop marvellously the faculties which they gave you.
But you ARE DEPENDENT on those who brought you into the world, and upon those back of them.
The Kaffir, sober, industrious, honest, with all the virtues rolled up within him, has not a fragment of one chance in ten thousand billions of equalling the achievements of a tenth-rate white man whose ancestral start was better. —-
After birth you start with dependence on your ancestors, and after youth you are dependent on your education.
Facts are your tools, and you can’t work without them.
If your mind has the right formation, if your brain is provided with the deep convolutions, and good luck has supplied you with a good education in youth, the whole thing is dependent on your health–on your liver, your stomach, or some other part of your internal machinery.
Very often your success is dependent on your temper and tact. These depend on your digestion. Digestion, of course, depends on your cook, and the cook’s attention to business may depend on the politeness of the policeman in front of the house.
You may FEEL absolutely independent and THINK you are independent, when as a matter of fact you are miserably dependent on the mood of the policeman who has snubbed the lady who cooks your food.