Far away in the years he is waiting his turn. His body, his brain, his soul, are in your boyish hands. He cannot help himself. What will you leave for him? Will it be a brain unspoiled by lust or dissipation; a mind trained to think and act; a nervous system as true as a dial in its response to the truth about you? Will you let him come as a man among men in his time? Or will you throw away his inheritance before he has had the chance to touch it?
Will you turn over to him a brain distorted; a mind diseased; a will untrained to action; a spinal cord grown through and through with the devil grass we call wild oats? Will you let him come taking your place, gaining through your experiences, happy in your friendships, hallowed through your joys, building them on his own?
Or will you fling it all away, decreeing, wantonlike, that the man you might have been shall never be?
This is your problem in life – the problem vastly more important to you than any or all others. How will you meet it – as a man or as a fool? It is your problem today and every day, and the hour of your decision is the crisis in your destiny.
~ David Starr Jordan