The necessity of hard and consistent labour is indeed the main root and spring of all that we call progress in individuals and civilization in nations. In every walk of life happiness is a fruit of which labour is the seed. We cannot enjoy the fruit without sowing the seed. The topic, Mr President Sir, that I am going to speak in favour of today is “Fruits of Labour are sweeter than the Gifts of fortune” which is indeed an obvious truth. I am pretty sure that my opponent are going to need a tremendous lot of luck to uccessfully put up a denial to it.
I can only wish them luck! Mr President Sir, Fortune has often been blamed for its blindness, but fortune is not so blind as men are. Those who look into the practical life will find that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious and perseverant as the winds and the waves are on the side of the best navigators. Success treads on the heels of every right effort, and though it is possible to overestimate success as the gift of God, still in any worthy pursuit, the diligence and painstaking toil are the ones that go the longest nd win the most.
Success which is acquired by what are called ‘lucky hits’ is seldom dependable; like money earned by gambling, such ‘hits’ only serve to hasten ones downfall and ultimate ruin. Francis Bacon used to say that in every form of business the shortest way was commonly the foulest, and if a man wanted to go the fairest way it would be the longest. Such a Journey might take a harder toll and a longer duress, but the pleasure of the labour involved in it and the enjoyment of the results produced will be most genuine and lasting.
Therefore, to have something to employ urselves with and to stimulate the diligent exercise of our inherent talents and energies makes our life feel much sweeter after success. Mr President Sir, if someone from the other side of the podium was to ask me the secret of my success, my surest answer would be the reason is plain, you sat still and said go, I got up and said come; you lay in bed and enjoyed your luck, I rose in the morning and minded my business hard. In fact far too many ways of achieving fame and fortune have been suggested but as Samuel Smiles says, the common highway f steady industry and application is the only safe road to travel’. There is no other secret to success, the proverbs of every nation abundantly testify the same; – We make our fortunes and call them fate; No pains, no gains; No sweat, no sweet; Work and thou shalt have; The world is his who has patience and industry; Heaven helps those who help themselves; It is better to wear out than rust out; and many more if I continue.
More than the proverbs the lives of great men also bear ample testimony to the fact that success and happiness are achieved not by those who move along the rimrose path of dalliance but by those who, ‘scorn delight and live laborious days. ‘ As Longfellow says, Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. Mr President Sir, you need only to glance at the biographies of great men to find that the most distinguished inventors, artists, thinkers and workers of all kinds owe their success not to good luck but in a great measure to their indefatigueable industry and application.
They were men who turned all things to gold by the touch of their diligent hands. Newton said, ‘If I have done the public any service it is due to nothing but industry and patient thought’. George Stephenson said, ‘Do as I have done – persevere’. Roshua Reynolds said, ‘Those who are resolved to excel must go to their work, willing or unwilling, morning, noon and night; they will find it no play, but very hard labour. ‘ And finally I will quote the great Napoleon who used to call himself a man of destiny, but advised his generals to rely for victory more on dry gunpowder than on prayers to the Almighty.
He built up an empire in his lifetime, but for that he ad to fight as many as sixty battles. He led his armies over the alps and across the length and breadth of Europe, for days together he would neither eat nor sleep, but would go on making plans, issuing orders and seeing personally that a battle progressed exactly according to his scheme. Thus, Mr President Sir, I will end by strongly advocating that the fruits of labour are much sweeter than the gifts of fortune. And leave the rostrum with a message for my opponents that: It is not for the mortals to command fortune We had rather do more and deserve it outright.