Here follows a Roycroft article from the September 12, 1907 issue of the East Aurora Advertiser.
“Last Sunday the Roycrofters en masse, took a trip to the Roycroft farm, and back of this trip lies a story, a story of two guineas. Reads as a myth. A man From Kalamazoo sent two birds instead of money for a lifetime Philistine membership. Now when Mr. Hubbard had finished telling the story, there were some who seemed to hold some doubts as to its veracity, and so he offered to prove to all doubting Thomases, that it was no myth, by escorting them to the farm and showing them the guineas. It is considered no reflection upon Mr. Hubbard’s veracity that everyone who could walk, went! They saw the guineas big and little; they listened to their harsh opinion of Roycrofters in general; but even then, after this substantiation, one man had the temerity to put Mr. Hubbard the ingenious question – which was first, the guineas or the story?”
In part as the RCC no longer has a farm, two guineas will no longer give you a lifetime membership, but we invite you to consider joining the RCC to support the restoration of the Roycroft Campus, a National Historic Landmark.
If he were alive today, Elbert Hubbard would most definitely be considered a self-help guru. One of his longer titles is the perfect example: Love, Life & Work: Being a Book of Opinions, Reasonably Good-natured, Concerning How to Attain the Highest Happiness for One’s Self with the Least Possible Harm to Others, by Elbert Hubbard, Published by the Roycrofters 1906.
Below are excerpts from pages 44, 45:
“Keep your mind on the great and splendid thing you would like to do; and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing the opportunities that are required for fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide elements that it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought that you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual you so admire.”
This “picturing” is often repeated by today’s self-help gurus. But Elbert continues with some very odd examples -
“...Darwin and Spencer have told us that this is the method of Creation. Each animal has evolved the parts it needed and desired. A horse is fleet because he wishes to be; the bird flies because it desires to; the duck has a web foot because it wants to swim. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed.”
In the next paragraph he gives advice on friendship -
“Many people know this, but they do not know it thoroughly enough so that it shapes their lives. We want friends, so we scheme and chase ‘cross lots after strong people, and lie in wait for good folks - or alleged good folks - hoping to be able to attach ourselves to them. The only way to secure friends is to be one. And before you are fit for friendship you must be able to do without it. That is to say, you must have sufficient self-reliance to take care of yourself, and then out of the surplus of your energy you can do for others.”
As with many of his preachments, it is a roller coaster ride. You never know what the Fra will speak of next.