Edgar A. Guest on “What I Owe the Other Fellow”

Bobbie Carlyle working on her bronze sculpture "Self Made Man"

Bobbie Carlyle working on her bronze sculpture "Self Made Man"

NO MAN is wholly self-made. It cannot be done, and it isn’t done. All along the way, others have made their contributions to the fame and glory of the one.

Each of us is the sum of our own efforts plus the gifts of others. How much of the deeds we are proudest of are our own, and how much came from friendly hands, we alone know, and that but vaguely.

The joy of accomplishment becomes conceit and arrogance when one forgets the assistance he has received, and assumes himself to be the exclusive author of his own achievement.

I have had a fortunate and fairly successful life, so far. Things have broken well for me. I have had my share of trouble, but I have never been in a pit from which I had to struggle out alone. Always, friends have stood by ready to help me.

Others have smoothed the rough way for me. I have had many a “hitch” on a kindly wagon going my way; many a swift ride in a motor car over roads where I might not have had the strength or courage or faith to go alone; and I stand to-day where I am—not yet at the top, I hope—resting on the kindly shoulders of uncounted friends.

I owe a lot to the other fellow. He has done much for me. As a matter of fact, the other fellow has made me possible. I cannot recount here all the kindly favors and helps I have received back through the years; but that they are a part of me and of my success I am sure.
Edgar A. Guest in his article “What I Owe the Other Fellow” in You Can’t Live Your Own Life, (Kessinger Publishing, 2005), p. 45. Originally published in book form as (Chicago, Illinois: Reilly & Lee, 1928). Originally published in The American Magazine, Volume 93, (New York: Colver Publishing House, 1922), p. 14.

Edgar A. Guest Posted on behalf of on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 under Quotations.

Leave a Reply

You can embed videos and photos in your comments just by including the URL. Here's a list of supported websites and instructions.

You can use these HTML tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>