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On The Road To Womanhood
by [?]

“Well, well, well,” said the Fairy Who Rights Things. “It looks as if I had a big task. All of you seem to be unhappy, but then we are usually unhappy because we look at ourselves instead of others. Let’s try what these magic spectacles can do. They will show you the burdens some of your friends carry and also show you how they carry them.”

Then she fitted a pair to the eyes of each girl and they looked at the passers-by.

There was Kate, who was always smiling and happy. Her burden was almost as large as she. There was a sick mother away back on the little farm in the country. Kate was trying to support her and still have enough to keep her own expenses paid. Her days were full of work. In her room, she was sewing to make extra money. She was very lonely, for she loved the little mother and longed to be with her, but she must earn money. Oh! what a pile of worries she had on every side! How could she ever carry them? But beneath the pile as it rested on her back they saw a little lever that was lifting all the time–and the lever was Love.

And here was May. They had money and automobiles and everything to make her happy. She had never seemed to have any burden but now she was carrying a very large one. She wanted to go to college, she wanted to make her life worth while, but her parents wanted her to stay at home and play the hours away. They would not let her go and as the months went by she longed more and more to study and serve. Did she have a lever to help carry hers? Indeed she did. It was right under the burden and it was called Vision.

Then there was Tom, the baseball star. He too carried a burden. They had never known that he had a father. But he carried the burden of a father who drank and drank. Oh, what a shame to take him through the streets in such a helpless condition! Did Tom have a lever? All looked eagerly to see and they saw Ideals –he would have a spotless character and retrieve the family name.

And there was Helen. Her people used profane language and she loved the pure. They loved the world and she loved the ideals of the church. They made fun of her faith and tried to change it. How heavily she was loaded, yet they had never dreamed of it when they had seen her teaching her little class in the Church School. But Belief in God was helping her to carry her load.

So they passed along the way before the five girls. All were carrying something but not all were carrying their load alike. Some smiled, and some sang as they staggered beneath a heavy load; others groaned and fretted with the weight of a much lighter one. Some were not only carrying their own load but helping to carry others.

“And now,” said the Angel Who Rights Things, “do you see a load that you would prefer? If so, then I will ask the bearer to exchange with you. Will you choose by the size of the burden or the ease with which it is carried?”

But though they searched long and diligently, they found no load easier than their own.

At last one turned to the Angel and said, “We find no one to choose. And since we must carry a burden, will you tell us how best we may carry these?”

Then the face of the Angel lighted with pleasure till it glowed like the sun. “When one asks how to carry and not why he must carry, already the load is lighter,” she replied. “If you will, your school can give to you a vision that will make your load seem very easy; your church can give to you a love that will make you eager to go there and learn to serve; your home cares can give you ideals for your own little home some day; your mother can show you how to grow into beautiful womanhood if you will but give her a chance; your troubles at home can give to you a sympathy that will not only lift your own burden but help with those of others. All these levers that you have seen helping to lift loads have been right at your hand to help you if you would only have given them an opportunity.

“How shall you bear your burdens? With a smile on your face, and love in your heart, and any lifter that you can find.”

Then the Angel Who Rights Things went on her way to find others who groaned beneath their burdens because they had never learned how to carry them.