Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
SyaS? v '
ONF MA M' OPTMiniSm tah who-leads a selfish life is a piker.
U1NC MAIM b :UilINlUIN2 r belIeve thal yery few of the meQ
BY N. D. COCHRAN
A Worthless Life. Before .he kill
ed himself Christian Wolf wrote a let
ter in which he said: "God forgive
me for this. .1 am a worthless dog.
Have only thought of myself during
life and God forgive me. I have spent
Elsewhere in the letter he wrote:
"To be caUed a piker and having a
yellow streak as,Lhave is right. Nev
er show yours, boys. I have had-one
all my life. Take my worthless body
to Fred Klaner's morgue. Let him
have it cremated and scatter the
ashes to the wind. Say, 'Here goes
The .first sentence of the last quo
tation isnl clear, but I take it that he
meant tha if the statement was
made that he was .a piker and had a
yellow streaky tfie statenient was cor
rect. The remainder of that quota
tion isn't important, because it makes
no difference what is done with the
body; and, of course, the,tbody .is
worthless, just as any other dead
body ,is worthless. ,-
Whether it be, buriedior cremated
makes no difference. When life pass
es'from the body all thatmade any
body love him was gone. -
The big -thing in the letter was this
statement: "I am a worthless( dog.
Have thought only of myself during
lifeand God forgive me. I have spent
It foolishly." '
Even if it were true that he spent
his life foo)ishly while living, he may
have spent it profitably for others by
committing suicide -and Writing that
letter. It will make his friends think.
Perhaps some of them are thinking
only of themselves and are spending
their lives .foolishly. Possibly some of
them are sacrificing, the A best amo
tions of the. human soulTby devoting.
all or tneir best energies to "making
moneyl . ,
It's safe to assume that niost-of his
frienjfs are doing just what he says
hefdid leading a selfish life. And any
whom the world calls successful die
happy. Not many of them will as
frankly admit their disappointment
with themselves as Wolf did. Wolf
himself wouldn't admit t while he
was living and where he would have
to face the ridicule of his fellows.
Had he done so doubtless his busi
ness associates and friends would
have thought there was something -wrong
with his head. Yet this letter
indicates that there was a lot of good
in -him, that he Tvas afraid to let ouk
I think -most of us are that way.
We have unselfish' thoughts, "but
haven't the courage to be ourselves
and give way to our emotions.
. We are toa much afraid of what
others will say or think; and yet they
may "have the same secret thoughts
we have. .All of us are cowards. If
we could accurately weigh all the -good
and bad in any of us "we would
probably find that our secret opinion
of ourselves is much the same as the
opinion Chris Wolf had of himself
when he wrote that letter.
We find it easy enough to fool our
friends, but we. can't 4obl ourselves.
I might go on writing in these col
umns so as to build up for myself, in.
the estimation of my readers, a whol-
ly fictitious character.l might make
you believe that my thoughts are al
ways pure, holy andt good;?: I nJght
make you believe, there js no selfish
nessln me and that I am entirely al
truistic. ' ,
, -But I would know better myself. I
qfiuldn'tiescape the knowledge that I
haven't the courage to say all thatI
really think, and that I amcweak"
enough to be putting forward my best
side. J j
I know that when I reflect and cast
un 'accounts it issmighty hard-work
trying to make the good balance the
bad. But-somebow-.or other it doesn t
worry me to know that I am too hu
man to ever have any chance of be
And the days and years I have