Whatever Is To Be
Done, The Typical Californian Knows How To Do It, And How To Do It Well.
He Is Equal To Every Occasion.
He can cinch his own saddle, harness his
own team, bud his own grapevines, cook his own breakfast, paint his own
house; and because he cannot go to the market for every little service,
perforce he serves himself.
In dealing with college students in
California, one is impressed by their boundless ingenuity. If anything
needs doing, some student can do it for you. Is it to sketch a
waterfall, to engrave a portrait, to write a sonnet, to mend a saddle,
to sing a song, to build an engine, or to "bust a bronco," there is
someone at hand who can do it, and do it artistically. Varied ingenuity
California demands of her pioneers. Their native originality has been
intensified by circumstances, until it has become a matter of tradition
and habit. The processes of natural selection have favored the survival
of the ingenious, and the quality of adequacy has become hereditary.
The possibility of the unearned increment is a great factor in the
social evolution of California. Its influence has been widespread,
persistent, and, in most regards, baneful. The Anglo-Saxon first came to
California for gold to be had for the picking up. The hope of securing
something for nothing, money or health without earning it, has been the
motive for a large share of the subsequent immigration. From those who
have grown rich through undeserved prosperity, and from those who have
grown poor in the quest of it, California has suffered sorely.
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