WHY be interested in ancestors? Many people hunt back through the centuries for illustrious or noble forebears. They like to find a lord or an earl or a duke, or perhaps a king, somewhere along the line. Such people are liable to have unpleasant surprises. Reckoning the generations of the Christian era, it is inevitable, practically speaking, to have somewhere behind us at least one king -- and many rascals.

I cannot search my own line hopefully for illustrious or noble names. My interest lies in the narrowing stream of heredity which concentrates, in each of us, some elements of body or mind or temperament (whether of spirit I do not know) and which gives us what we have to start with.

I found the key to constructive living, first, in recognizing what I was by inheritance; then in making my plans and bending my energies to the best possible use of that "nature" which had been bequeathed me.

There is an ancient argument as to which predominates in determining a man's fortunes, nature or nurture. Our generation has the idea that nurture -- the social institutions and personal relationships which surround one -- is the primary determinant. I


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