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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

S                  THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

Let us suppose that the teacher has reached (independently
of his scientific education) a similar feeling of interest, although
in a lesser degree, in the observation of natural psychological
phenomena in children. Well, such preparation would not be
enough.

He is destined for his own special work—not that of observing
insects or infusoria, but man.

And it is not man in the manifestations of his daily life,-like
those of a family of insects when they awake in the morning, but
man at the awakening of his mental life.

For him who -desires to cultivate it, interest in humanity
must possess a quality which connects more intimately the observer
and the observed than that which connects the zoologist or the
botanist with nature; and that which is more intimate is neces-
sarily more pleasant. Man cannot love the insect or the chemical
reaction without becoming worn out; to anyone watching him
without understanding, such attrition appears as suffering, as the
exhaustion of life itself, as martyrdom. But the love of man for
man may be sweeter, and may be so simple that not only those
privileged in spirit but the masses may attain it without an
effort.

Teachers, when they have been sufficiently imbued with the
spirit of the scientists, must comfort themselves with the thought
that very scon they will be able to experience happiness when they
become observers of humanity. .

In order to give an idea of this second form of preparation

of the spirit, let us imagine that we are interpreting the sincere minds

of those first followers of Jesus Christ who were listening to him

speaking of a Kingdom of God which was greater than any which

could be conceived of on earth.    One of the disciples began to

wonder hew greatness would be assessed, in this Kingdom, and

asked Him with childish .curiosity: "Who is the greatest in the

Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus called a little child to Him and said:

" Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, the same is

the greatest in tte Kingdom of Heaven."