“The late Edward S. Evans of Detroit almost killed himself with worry before he learned that life is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour." Brought up in poverty, Edward Evans made his first money by selling newspapers, then worked as a grocer's clerk.
Later, with seven people dependent upon him for bread and butter, he got a job as an assistant librarian. Small as the pay was, he was afraid to quit. Eight years passed before he could summon up the courage to start out on his own. But once he started, he built up an original investment of fifty-five borrowed dollars into a business of his own that made him twenty thousand dollars a year. Then came a frost, a killing frost. He endorsed a big note for a friend-and the friend went bankrupt.
Quickly on top of that disaster came another: the bank in which he had all his money collapsed. He not only lost every cent he had, but was plunged into debt for sixteen thousand dollars. His nerves couldn't take it.
"I couldn't sleep or eat," he told. "I became strangely ill. Worry and nothing but worry," he said, "brought on this illness. One day as I was walking down the street, I fainted and fell on the sidewalk. I was no longer able to walk. I was put to bed and my body broke out in boils. These boils turned inward until just lying in bed was agony. I grew weaker every day.
Finally my doctor told me that I had only two more weeks to live. I was shocked. I drew up my will, and then lay back in bed to await my end. No use now to struggle or worry. I gave up, relaxed, and went to sleep. I hadn't slept two hours in succession for weeks; but now with my earthly problems drawing to an end, I slept like a baby. My exhausting weariness began to disappear. My appetite returned. I gained weight."
"A few weeks later, I was able to walk with crutches. Six weeks later, I was able to go back to work. I had been making twenty thousand dollars a year; but I was glad now to get a job for thirty dollars a week. I got a job selling blocks to put behind the wheels of automobiles when they are shipped by freight. I had learned my lesson now. No more worry for me. No more regret about what had happened in the past. No more dread of the future. I concentrated all my time, energy, and enthusiasm into selling those blocks."
Edward S. Evans shot up fast now. In a few years, he was president of the company. His company - The Evans Product Company, has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for years. When Edward S. Evans died in 1945, he was one of the most progressive business men in the United States. If you ever fly over Greenland, you may land on Evans Field, a flying-field named in his honor.
Here is the point of the story: Edward S. Evans would never have had the thrill of achieving these victories in business and in living if he hadn't seen the folly of worrying, if he hadn't learned to live in day-tight compartments.