From the September 1955 magazine.

Way Ahead of the Joneses

WHY should we be in such desperate haste, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears however measured or far away."

I have thought about these words many times during this last year. In the twelve years or more that I worked as a front office clerk in luxury hotels in New York City and as host in winter resorts, I kept up such a desperate pace! And whatever it was that seemed to be telling me what to do gave me an entirely false sense of values and a false security. I tried, not only to "keep up with the Joneses," but to keep ahead of them as well. When the big crash came for me, after the social and solitary drinking caught up with me, I found that I truly was 'way ahead of the Joneses. . .none of them went with me to the eleven hospitals and institutions that I was in for the better part of five years.

-- E. P.

Wilmington, North Carolina

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