Self-Investment | Orison Swett Marden Podcasts

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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from the book Self-Investment by Orson Swett Marden, published in 1911.

Education, as commonly understood, is the process of developing the mind by means of books and teachers. When education has been neglected, either by reason of lack of opportunity, or because advantage was not taken of the opportunities afforded, the one remaining hope is self-improvement.

Opportunities for self-improvement surround us; the helps to self-improvement are abundant, and in this day of cheap books, free libraries, evening schools, and the internet, there can be no good excuse for neglecting to use these faculties for self-development which are so abundantly supplied.

When we look at the difficulties which hindered the acquisition of knowledge long ago (the scarcity and the costliness of books, the long hours of work and toil which left so little time for study), we may well marvel at the giants of scholarship those days of hardship produced. And when we add to these limitations, the physical disabilities, blindness, deformity, and ill-health which many contended against, we may feel shame as we contemplate the fullness of our modern opportunities, and the helps and incentives to study and self-development which are so lavishly provided for our use and inspiration, and of which we avail ourselves so little.

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