On Sunday evenings, Booker T. Washington always gave talks to the students of Tuskegee Institute on moral values and character building.
In one of those addresses, he counsels his students:
“This institution does not exist for your education alone; it does not exist for your comfort and happiness altogether, although those things are important, and we keep them in mind; it exists that we may give you intelligence, skill of hand, and strength of mind and heart; and we help you in these ways that you, in turn may help others. We help you that you may help somebody else, and if you do not do this, when you go out from here, then our work here has been in vain.”
Then goes on to tell them what to do in moments of misery:
“I want you to go out into the world, not to have an easy time, but to make sacrifices, and to help somebody else. There are those who need your help and sacrifice. You may be called upon to sacrifice a great deal. As the institution grows larger, we do not want to lose the spirit of self-sacrifice, the spirit of usefulness which the graduates and the students who have gone out from here have shown. We want you to help somebody else. We want you not to think of yourselves alone. When you feel unhappy, disagreeable and miserable, go to some one else who is miserable and do that person an act of kindness, and you will find that you will be made happy.”
Booker Taliaferro Washington (c. 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States.