Read LETTING THE CROWDS BE GOOD - CHAPTER VI of Crowds A Moving-Picture of Democracy, free online book, by Gerald Stanley Lee, on


The basis of successful business is imagination about other people.  The best way to train one’s imagination about other people is to try different ways of being of service to them.  Trying different ways of merely getting money out of them does not train the imagination.  It is too easy.

Business is going to be before long among the noblest of the professions, because it takes the highest order of imagination to succeed in it.  Goodness is no longer a Sunday school.  The whole world, in a rough way, is its own Sunday school.

To have the most brains render the most service-render services people had never dreamed of before.

Why bother to tell people to be good?  It bores us.  It bores them.  Presently we will tell them over our shoulders, as we go by, to use their brains.  Goodness is a by-product of efficiency.

Being good every day in business stands in no need of being stood up for, or apologized for, or even helped.  All of these things may be expedient and human and natural, because one cannot help being interested in particular people and in a particular generation; but they are not really necessary to goodness.  It is only when we are tired, or when we only half believe in it, that we feel to-day that goodness needs to be stood up for.  In a day when men make vast crowds of things, so that the things are seen everywhere, and when the things are made to stand the test of crowds-crowds of days, or crowds of years-and when they make them for crowds of people, goodness does not need scared and helpful people defending it.  I have seen that goodness is a thing to be sung about like a sunset.  I have seen that goodness is organic, and grounded in the nature of things and in the nature of man.  I have seen that being good is the one great adventure of the world, the huge daily passionate moral experiment of the human heart-that all men are at work on it, that goodness is an implacable crowd process, and that nothing can stop it.