The Pleasure of Walking Tall
(as published in the St. Petersburg Times, May 13, 1969)
Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice — in short, your physical well-being and self-confidence.
A person without savings is always running. They must. They must take the first job offered, or nearly so. They sit nervously on life’s chair because any small emergency throws them into the hands of others.
Without savings, a person must be too grateful—seemingly desperate. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place, but a constant state of gratitude from desperation is a horrible place in which to live.
A person with savings can walk tall. They may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.
A person with savings can afford to resign from their job if their principles so dictate. And for this reason they’ll never need to do so. A person who can afford to quit is much more useful to their company, and therefore more promotable. He or she can afford to give their company the benefits of their most candid judgments.
A person always concerned about necessities, such as food and rent, can’t afford to think in long-range career terms. They must dart to the most immediate opportunity for ready cash. Without savings, they will spend a lifetime of darting and dodging.
A person with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. They can take a level stare into the eyes of any person…friend, stranger or enemy. It shapes their personality and character.
The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people, who spend it all, are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.
The dean of American bankers, J.P. Morgan, once advised a young broker, “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive the haste out of your life.”
Will Rogers put it this way, “I’d rather have the company of a janitor, living on what he earned last year…than an actor spending what he’ll earn next year.”
If you don’t need the money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.