Elijah Justice Anderson, South Carolina, United States
Faith, to me, is the foundation of society. Civilizations were created and destroyed through determination and sheer will of its creators...and its enemies. Faith has shaped the lives of famous and not-so-famous people.
This is also true of Charles M. Schwab. The risk taker began his career with Andrew Carnegie in the mid 1880's as an engineer. He was also a college dropout and earned only two certificates in engineering from St. Francis College (now St. Francis University.)
He worked extremely long hours and had to endure Mr. Carnegie fiery, Scottish temper. Schwab's hard work paid off in 1897, when he became the company's president, at only 35.
Meanwhile, the trust between him and Carnegie strengthened. That faithuld night in 1901 was the cornerstone of Mr. Schwab's life. He was unknown to the general public and was"Andy's boy" in close circles.
His mind-blowing speech changed it all. Where did these words come from? Only he knows. He became famous overnight and for a time headed the largest steel company in the world.
The tragedy in this story, however, is that Schwab died in near poverty and owing more than $300,000 in debt. This was due to his "high living" and the stock market crash of 1929's effect on major and small businesses like the U.S. Steel Corporation.
Faith can create great things in people but the price of living by too much faith can be high, as it did with Schwab. He never dreamed of Black Friday, 1929. He never dreamed of spending his last years living in a mediocre apartment and drowning in debt. He just wanted to live life to its fullest...and that he did!
In short, the power of faith, with works, can move mountains and shape lives. I believe that Napoleon Hill was thinking mostly about his humble beginnings when we wrote the Charles Schwab story.