ALL THINGS FRUGAL, Home of The Pennypincher Ezine and Tightwad Tidbits Daily


Frugal Articles




















Category:  Inspirational

Related Links:  | Inspirational | Attitude | Courage | Goals | Happiness | Self-Esteem |

Follow Your Stars

By Steve Goodier

"Learn to say no," said Charles Spurgeon. "It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin."

One educator used to say that no society can last long unless it has a quorum of "unpurchasable people." These are people of principle who cannot be bought; people who have learned to say no. I believe that these so-called unpurchasable people are the truly contented and fulfilled souls around us.

In Whitney Seymour's book MAKING A DIFFERENCE (New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1984), Arthur McArthur, General Douglas McArthur's father, told his son of such an unpurchasable man. This man was a Union general in charge of the occupied territory surrounding New Orleans toward the end of the American Civil War. He was pressed by local plantation owners to permit them to haul their cotton to the wharves in order for it to be sold for shipment to England. The general controlled all the wagons and horses, and his orders from high command in Washington were clear. He was not to let the cotton crop get to market.

Then one day, when Colonel Arthur MacArthur was visiting the general, two Southern ladies were ushered into the general's office, a "grande dame" and a beautiful young companion. The older lady came right to the point. She said that the landowners needed the temporary use of transport facilities to move their cotton. The North did not wish to force England into the war, she argued, and was allowing some merchant ships to slip through the blockade. Therefore, the Union would not be opposed to the sale of cotton for English textile mills. To show her gratitude she handed over $250,000 in gold certificates. "And if you need other inducements, this young lady will supply them," she added. They departed, leaving behind a distressed general holding the beautiful young woman's address.

The general immediately ordered MacArthur to dispatch this message to Washington: "TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have just been offered two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and the most beautiful woman I have ever seen to betray my trust. I am depositing the money with the Treasury of the United States, and request immediate relief from this command. They are getting close to my price."

Many others may have fallen for the seductive offer. And though his decision was no doubt difficult to make, how much harder might his life have eventually become had he chosen wrong? Saying yes to contentment and peace often begins with saying no. For ultimately happy lives are guided by unwavering principles, such as honesty, trust and love. Those who keep sight of their principles and use them as a guide in all their decision-making will eventually arrive at a place of lasting peace.

"Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them with your hands," says Carl Schurz. "But like the (seafarers) on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny."  

Steve Goodier is a professional speaker, consultant and author of numerous books. Visit his site for more information, or to sign up for his FREE newsletter of Life, Love and Laughter at


What other people are reading:

What To Do With Holiday Leftovers

10 Ways to Use Egg Cartons to Keep Kids Entertained

Smart Ways to Save on Pet Expenses

How to Find Cheap Textbooks

Cutting Costs on Kids


| Back to Top |

Category:  Inspirational

Related Links:  | Inspirational | Attitude | Courage | Goals | Happiness | Self-Esteem |

| Home |     Contact Info             Zero Tolerance for Spam      Privacy Policy