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THOUGHTS FOR YOUNG WOMEN
About your peculiar Advantages.
FEW years ago
I wrote thus in a book intended for the use of young girls :
“You have left school, and it is necessary
should choose some way of getting your own livelihood. Now what will you choose ?
There are so many ways of earning money. now open to females. Formerly, if a girl objected to domestic service, there was little else left for her to choose employment from. Now, she may be a teacher, a needlewoman, a servant, a shop assistant, à telegraph worker, a bookfolder, a clerk, a factory hand, a copyist, and very many other things beside.
“Now it seems to us that these employments may be divided into two kinds :-Those which are carried on in a home, and those which are carried on in shops, or workrooms, or offices; and we cannot help preferring the former.
“A girl's especial lifework has to do with the home, and the place where she is likely to receive the best training will be a home. Consequently we see continual evidence that those who have much to do with the home cleaning, the home cooking, &c., in their younger days, are far more likely to turn out good managers than those who are constantly employed in some other way.”
Now all this is undoubtedly very true. True that there are especial advantages offered to young women of the present time in the way of employment; and true that, as far as their
future work is concerned, those employed in and about home work have by far the best training for it. But at the same time if all were to choose their present occupation with an eye to this necessary training, there would be a good many posts of one kind vacant, and a good many applicants for other kinds who would not find places.
Therefore, as we must have female clerks, copyists, and needlewomen, female letter sorters and shop assistants, it is just as well that those who decide upon filling either of these positions, should give a little earnest thought sometimes to the peculiar advantages, disadvantages, duties, and opportunities which belong to them.
It is a blessed knowledge which teaches us that there is no post in the wide world which cannot be ennobled by those who fill it. It is a great mistake to think that directly we find things unpleasant, or trying, or not altogether to our advantage, that we are to run away from the situation altogether. I am afraid we are more anxious to find positions to suit ourselves than to make ourselves suit the position. It is quite possible to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in any position, and this should be our greatest aim, the standard we hold up for ourselves.
And though it is very hard sometimes to put down our own desires, or to check our own inclinations or natural propensities, it is very good discipline for us. It is an easy thing to be patient and gentle when everything goes smoothly with us, but the patience and gentleness of a young Christian should shine out brightest under adverse circumstances.
If we accept the work which comes to our hands as a something by means of which we may show our love and bring glory to the name of our Master, there is little danger that we shall work carelessly or half-heartedly. No matter what it may be, the effort to do “heartily, as to the Lord,” will make the meanest occupation noble.