This article was published in 1925, but it still has timeless application to help develop a moral code for home school children.
If I Want To Be a Happy, Useful Citizen I Must Have:
Courage and Hope
I must be brave. This means I must be brave enough and strong enough to control what I think, and what I say and what I do, and I must always be hopeful because hope is power for improvement.
I must act wisely. In school, at home, playing, working, reading or talking, I must learn how to choose the good and how to avoid the bad.
Industry and Good Habits
I must make my character strong. My character is what I am, if not in the eyes of others, then in the eyes of my own conscience. Good thoughts in my mind will keep out bad thoughts. When I am busy doing good I shall have no time to do evil. I can build my character by training myself in good habits.
Knowledge and Usefulness
I must make my mind strong. The better I know myself, my fellows and the world about me, the happier and more useful I shall be. I must always welcome useful knowledge in school, at home, everywhere.
Truth and Honesty
I must be truthful and honest. I must know what is true in order to do what is right. I must tell the truth without fear. I must be honest in all my dealings and in all my thoughts. Unless I am honest I cannot have self-respect.
Healthfulness and Cleanliness
I must make my body strong. My eyes, my teeth, my heart, my whole body must be healthful so that my mind can work properly. I must keep physically and morally clean.
Helpfulness and Unselfishness
I must use my strength to help others who need help. If I am strong I can help others, I can be kind, I can forgive those who hurt me and I can help and protect the weak, the suffering, the young and the old, and dumb animals.
I must love. I must love God, who created not only this earth but also all men of all races, nations and creeds, who are my brothers. I must love my parents, my home, my neighbors, my country and be loyal to all these.
Humility and Reverence
I must know that there are always more things to learn. What I may know is small compared to what can be known. I must respect all who have more wisdom than I, and have reverence for all that is good. And I must know how and whom to obey.
Faith and Responsibility
I must do all these things because I am accountable to God and humanity for how I live and how I can help my fellows, and for the extent to which my fellows may trust and depend on me.
Published in Collier’s, The National Weekly © 1925
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