Monday, February 24, 1936

“Old Bill” Suggests—

This might be a good time to take a shot at the cruel injustice of overemphasizing either age or youth as a requisite for employment. George Washington, whose day has just been celebrated, was not too young to be a reliable and trusted surveyor at 16 nor too old to leave his plantation and become commander in chief of the continental army at 43. He was 57 years old, professing himself a simple soldier and neither stateman nor politician, when he first took the oath of office as president.

Nor are modern examples lacking. Woodrow Wilson at 44 was an obscure professor, known for scholarship but not always popular, although his intelligence and determination were admitted. In 1910, although a college president, he was in such a wrangle at Princeton that it was rumored he would resign. Yet nine years later he was the outstanding figure of the entire civilized world.

At the other end of the scale youth is underestimated as frequently as age. A most amusing instance is Emil Ludwig’s biography of William Hohenzollern, in which the biographer all but weeps at unkind fate which thrust responsibility upon the kaiser by giving him the throne at the immature age of 30. In contrast, Alexander the Great had conquered an empire before he was 26.

Brains and energy are brains and energy, no matter where found. Employers who do not realize as much are throwing money out the window.


This entry was posted in “Old Bill” Suggests. Bookmark the permalink.