Are you looking forward or are you looking backward? Frequently an unfortunate man or woman remarks, "I committed the crime in a fit of anger" or, "I committed the crime when I was drunk; had I been myself, I could not have done it." Frequently, we hear the remark, "If I had my life to live over again, I would acquire an education, I would make the necessary preparation for rendering the world some useful service. It is too late now."
This kind of recital indicates a hopeless attitude toward the future. No man can live backwards. The past is forever gone. The future, whether long or short, is all that remains. What excuse have you for surrendering? The fact that you acknowledge failure in the past, indicates that you cherish ideals.
Public opinion has set artificial limits to human attainment. Our public schools recognize an age limit, whereas the public schools of a great republic should be fore all of the people all of the time. Mature men and women are told by the state that they are too old to learn, too old to make special preparation for a vocation. Many great industrial enterprises deny this imputation and provide extension schools for their employees. For thirty-two years the doors of the Ferris Institute have swung wide open for all, regardless of their race, color, or age. Father, mother, son and daughter have been found at work in this school all at one time. Among the happiest and most industrious have been found those who had reached "middle life." We appeal to men and women, regardless of their age.