Try to do good to All with whom you associate.
Have you older brothers and sisters, who are anxious for your welfare? Do every thing in your power to repay their tenderness. Have you younger ones? Take pains to help them to be good. Explain their little books to them. Teach them simple pieces of poetry. If they are out of humor try to sooth them. Learn them to be careful of their toys, and to put every thing in its place when they have done with it,—and to return whatever they have borrowed to its owner. Show them by your own conduct, how to be good-tempered and happy.
If they are mere babes you can do something towards this. It will be an assistance to your parents, to help in the great work of making their children good. You will also grow better and happier yourselves. Whatever your parents are employed about, be ready to assist them, if they will permit it. If your mother is weary with household cares, or the charge of little children, come cheerfully to her aid. You can never know how much you are indebted to her, until the burdens of life are upon you, and you watch at the cradle of your own babe, as she has watched over you. But though you cannot understand, or fully repay the debt,—you may do much to cheer her by your helping hand, and affectionate deportment.
Make it a rule to try to do some good to all in whose company you are. Do not always talk about trifles with your companions. It is not improper to love play,—but it would be wrong to wish to spend all your time, and thoughts about it. If you have read an improving book, tell your little friends what you can remember of it. Ask them to do the same. Speak of the lessons that you have learned together. In this way you will share your stock of knowledge, and be quickened to gain more. You will convey good thoughts to the mind of others. To love useful knowledge is one way of being happy. To divide it among your friends is one way of doing good. So that doing good, and being happy, seem to be the same thing.—
There was once a boy, who adopted it as a rule, never to go any where, or converse with any person, without trying to do them some good. It was a noble rule. He began with the domestics of the family, and with his young associates. The habit of doing good grew up with him,—and was strengthened from above. He was distinguished by his conversations, his writings, and his sermons,—and the blessing of the poor, and the sick, and the sorrowful, were his reward. He became the celebrated Dr. Cotton Mather, of Boston,—author of "Essays to do Good,"—the "Magnalia,"—and other books of piety.