A Historical Tribute

1244 S. Sixth St. - completed 1926

1244 Sixth Street

C. Lee Cook Quotes

The American Magazine Quotes

“After talking with Mr. Cook for even a brief period, the last thing you think of is that he is a cripple. His presence and association act as a mental tonic, a bracing inspiration”, so wrote B. C. Forbes in the April, 1920 issue of The American Magazine. The original article brought C. Lee Cook to the attention of the nation. 35 years later the third president of the C. Lee Cook Company had the magazine article titled 'A Genius Who Never Walked A Step' privately reprinted in a hard-bound book. The quotations by Charles Lee Cook in the article are reproduced here to continue to inspire and guide mankind.

Bookcover, printed 1955

“Adversity is a spur. What may seem the harshness of Providence is often just what is needed to make a man fit to face the steel of existence. It is true of men, as it is of nations, that they thrive and wax strong on hardship, and that they wane on ease and self-satisfaction.”

“I succeeded in overcoming all these difficulties, just as I have succeeded in overcoming other difficulties since, by not only being always willing to work harder than most people but by seeking always to distinguish between trifles and big things. One difference between the man who succeeds in a large way and the man who does not succeed is that the latter concerns himself with matters of small importance, while the successful man concentrates upon the things that count most. If you turn your whole energies toward achieving something worth while, and refuse to be discouraged by repeated failures, the chances are that in time your combination of brain power and active work will enable you to win out.”

“Success cannot be defined; it can only be described. It is not a brilliant scene; it is power, working for good, just doing the right thing strongly, and always, while doing it, gathering more strength to do it more strongly. It means that we have got to be fair with the world, and it does not bean that we must pause every time we do a thing well, or think we do it well, to listen for echoes of the world going wild with applause about it. It simply means that we have got to give more than we receive. The big sustaining spirit of my business is that for every dollar I ask I am striving with all my might to send out in advance a dollar and a half in service.”

“Short hours and specialized attention to one thing will do very well for the man who is satisfied to be a nameless unit in the game of life. But no man ever reached heights above the average who kept himself busy looking at the clock.”

“I have always sought to cultivate an optimism that turns the disappointments of one day into opportunities of another. To gain any high end or aim, it is usually necessary for man to become something of an idealist and indulge in dreams. But unless ideals and dreams and visions are zealously pursued, so as to transform them into practical realities, they amount to little. In a word, dreaming that is not accompanied by doing is of scant service to mankind.”

“If I have been able to gather a moderate amount of knowledge of a larger variety of subjects than the average person, it is because I have been ready to expend the necessary exertion. I have always scorned to accept sympathy over being a cripple. I have inflexibly adhered to the rule that I would accept no favor and negotiate no business with any person whose intention was to give it to me out of pity for my physical misfortune.”

“Self-pity is fatal to success. Some of those who have started life with the worst handicaps have accomplished most. Robert Louis Stevenson gave the world some of his finest books while lying in bed nigh unto death with tuberculosis, so weak that he could not hold a pen. Michael Angelo was a chronic sufferer from fever. Milton, as everybody knows, was blind. John Bunyan wrote his monumental 'Pilgrim's Progress' in prison. And nearly all the men filling leading business positions in this country started life penniless, many of them with but the most meager of schooling and many without good health.”

“Complaining, whining, railing against fate, will never get a many anywhere. The way to meet difficulties is to face them, and battle against them heroically. Faith and optimism, combined with incessant endeavor, will triumph over almost any hurdle in life.”

“Success does not lie in one's bank account; success really resides in the mind. Books, schools, and classes of all kinds are so plentiful and available today that any earnest, purposeful, plodding young man can attain riches of the mind. A rich mind and a meager pocket can constitute success and yield happiness, whereas a bumper pocket and a poverty-stricken mind neither represent true success no yield genuine happiness.”

“Laziness is perhaps the most common cause of failure to make any considerable headway in life. I often hear this very class of people saying, 'Well, if I were a cripple like that man, I believe I would commit suicide.' I can answer them with equal feeling and more conviction, that, if Providence had given me their strength and health and I had accomplished no more with it than they, there would not have been any doubt about my decision to follow their suggestion.”

“Sir William Hamilton, the great Scottish metaphysician, never tired of quoting that magic aphorism: 'In this world there is nothing great but man. In man there is nothing great but mind.' Mankind would be hard pressed to disprove this. But could he disprove it, he would only prove himself to be a very common animal and with no ambition beyond a full feeding trough, a field in which to roam and satisfy his sensualities.”


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