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written by Kelly Sorge
Amos Lawrence was one of America's great philanthropists,* giving away over $700,000 in his lifetime.

Born into a farming family in 1786, his weak health caused him to seek an apprenticeship in business rather than continue the strenuous physical work of farming. Amos learned to put his long-term goals of success ahead of his immediate desire for companionship and drink, as his fellow workers gathered together each day for a drink during work hours.
When he moved to Boston at age 21, he was offered an advancement from clerk to partner. The offer was very tempting; however, he had observed unethical business practices in the company and declined the offer. In a few months, the firm was bankrupt.
Lawrence began his own business soon after and established it on principles based on self-control and personal discipline. He kept records carefully, paid accounts promptly, and sought only very limited credit. In less than 25 years, he had built a very successful business.

Although he had the resources to gratify every desire, he still used self-control in his spending, as well as in his diet, exercise, and use of time. Much of his time and money were invested in other people's lives. He endowed schools such as Williams College.

He continued a long-standing discipline of writing letters to encourage and instruct young people with sound advice. He wrote his son this advice: "Analyze more closely the tendency of principles, associations, and conduct, and strive to adopt such as will make it easier for you to go right than go wrong." Two of his sons later became philanthropists like their father.

*Philanthropist--One who shows goodwill by giving large charitable gifts.

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Concept by : Character First
"Polka Dot Bears" Game
The object of the game is to see who can
show the most self-control by not laughing
at all during the game. The winner is the one who goes the longest without laughing.

1. Take turns asking each other silly questions, such as "What do you like to eat for breakfast."

2. The answer will always be "polka dot bears!"

3. If someone laughs, he is out of the game.

4. The game continues with more silly questions and the same answer until there is only one left who has not laughed.

Self-Control Crossword