You may be smart, shrewd, cunning, long-headed, you may be a good scholar, very clever - even brilliant - but are you sound? That is the question everybody who has any dealings with you will ask. Are you substantial, solid? Have you a level head?
Everywhere we see men who are very brilliant out of work, plenty of sharp men who wonder why they do not get responsible positions. But people are afraid of these one-sided, poorly balanced men. Nobody feels safe in their hands. People want to feel that a man in a responsible position can keep a clear brain and level head no matter what comes, that he cannot be shaken from his center no matter how much influence is brought to bear upon him. They want to be sure that he is self-centered, that he is sound to the very core. Most people overestimate the value of education, of brilliance, sharpness, shrewdness, which they think can be substituted for a level head and sound judgment.
The great prizes of life do not fall to the most brilliant, to the cleverest, to the most long-headed or to the best educated, but to the most level-headed men, to the men of sound judgment. When a man is wanted for a responsible position, his shrewdness is not considered so important as his sound judgment. Relia billty is what is wanted. Can a man stand without being tripped ; and if he is thrown can he land upon his feet ? Can he be depended upon, relied upon under all circumstances to do the right thing, the sensible thing? Has the man a level head? Has he good horse sense ? Is he liable to go off on a tangent or to " go off half-cocked?" Is he "faddy"? Has he " wheels in his head ? " Does he lose his temper easily, or can he control himself? If he can keep a level head under all circumstances, if he cannot be thrown off his balance and is honest, he is the man wanted.