To preserve life, it is not enough to refrain from destroying it We must also make it wider, deeper, bolder and more joyful. Strength is the only thing which allows man to rise higher. In the eyes of nature, it is the supreme virtue while weakness is the worst vice. The weak are destined to perish, for life loves only the strong. The strength we need does not resemble the muscular strength of the athlete, the moral strength of the ascetic or the intellectual strength of the philosopher and the scientist. It comprises stamina, harmony and suppleness of muscles, organs and mind along with the capacity to bear fatigue, hunger, sorrow and anxiety. It is the will to hope and to act, the solidarity of the body and soul which does not admit the possibility of defeat, the joy which permeates our whole being. How can we acquire this strength? The only way is by patient, dogged, daily effort; unconscious effort on tie part of the heart, the glands and all the anatomical system; conscious effort on the part of the will, the intelligence and the muscles. One must learn little by little, by exercises repeated every day, to establish order in one's life, to accept one's self-imposed discipline and to be one's own master. One must also train oneself, by small and frequent efforts, to dominate one's feelings; one's nervousness, laziness, weariness and suffering. Such an apprenticeship is indispensable to any civilized person; the basic error of modern teaching is to have neglected it
The rules to follow are many, but simple. They consist in leading our daily life as the structure of our body and mind demands. We must learn to endure heat, cold and fatigue; to walk, run and climb in all extremes of weather. We must also avoid as much as possible the artificial atmosphere of offices, flats and motorcars. In the choice of the quantity of food we eat we ought to follow modern principles of nutrition. We should sleep neither too much nor too little and in a quiet atmosphere. We should specialize in the work to which we are physically and mentally capable of adapting ourselves and do it as best we can. We should rest and amuse ourselves in such a way that rest and amusement do not become an additional fatigue or a total waste of time. We should avoid the exhibitionism of official sports but we should practice every day such exercises as those recommended by Hebert, which simultaneously develop organs, bones and muscles. We should also accomplish daily, outside of our professional work, some definite task of an intellectual, esthetic, moral or religious nature. Those who have the courage to order their existence thus will be magnificently rewarded. Life will give herself to them, as she gave herself to the inhabitants of ancient Greece, in her full strength and beauty.
The history of animals and men shows that the weak have no rights, not even the right to live on the land of their forefathers. The inhabitants of Normandy, Brittany and Anjou, the fairest, richest and most enviable provinces in France, have allowed life to grow feeble in themselves and in their children. If they do not become regenerate, history will once more repeat itself. Sooner or later they will be replaced by biologically stronger races. This will come about all the more easily because modern methods permit the swift deportation of whole populations far from their homes to regions which a rigorous climate and poor soil have emptied of their inhabitants.
Nature has no pity for alcoholics or for those who are lazy or feeble-minded. She favors those who are sober, alert, intelligent and enthusiastic; most of all, those who have the courage to take risks and who possess the will to succeed. She smiles on those who are ready to live hard and dangerously. Whoever refuses to take risks pays the penalty of loss of life in one form or another.