My mother once tried to frighten me with an appalling story of a ghost in a dark chamber. I went there immediately, and expressed my disappointment at having missed the ghost. Mother never told me another horror-tale.
Moral: Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you.
Another early memory is my wish for an ugly dog belonging to a neighbor. I kept my household in turmoil for weeks to get that dog. My ears were deaf to offers of pets with more prepossessing appearance.
Moral: Attachment is blinding; it lends an imaginary halo of attractiveness to the object of desire.
A third story concerns the plasticity of the youthful mind. I heard my mother remark occasionally: ‘A man who accepts a job under anyone is a slave.’ That impression became so indelibly fixed that even after my marriage I refused all positions. I met expenses by investing my family endowment in land.
Moral: Good and positive suggestions should instruct the sensitive ears of children. Their early ideas long remain sharply etched.