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Full text of "The Discovery Of The Child"

88                 THE DISCOVERY OF THE CHILD

rise to graver consequences in the future. The gentleman who has
too many servants not only becomes more and more completely their
dependent and their slave, but his muscles weaken through lack of
exercise and at last lose their natural power of action. The mind
of anyone who, in order to get what he needs, does not work but
gives orders atrophies and grows weak. In such a manner do we
inoculate the mind of childhood with the deadly sin of laziness.

Supposing that one day, his mind having been suddenly en-
lightened, the man accustomed to be served should wish to regain
his independence, he would perhaps discover that he no longer
possessed the strength needed to be independent. These criticisms
ought to be made known to parents of the privileged classes,

Just in proportion as it is useless, assistance forms an impedi-
ment to the development of natural strength.

The danger of servility is not confined to the useless waste of
life which leads to helplessness, but includes the development of
reactions which also are characterized by perversion and lack of
strength, and may be compared with the outbursts of the hysterical
person or the convulsions of the epileptic.

They are the actions of unbridled power. Such violent exhi-
bitions of strength run parallel with lack of strength; they rise
from the rage which springs from laziness.

Let us imagine a skilful and sensible workman, not only
capable of producing much excellent work but of exercising a
healthy influence in his workshop by the calm judgment with which
he manages everything. Often he will act as a peace-maker, be
the one who smiles when others are in a bad temper. It would
not, however, astonish us to learn that at home this workman
scolds his wife if the soup is not tasty enough or is not ready in
time, or to find that he readily breaks out into anger. At home
he is no longer the skilful operator; the skilful worker is the wife
who serves him and who pities him. Here we have then an
example of a man who is calm where he is the master of his work,
and is overbearing where he is waited upon. Perhaps if he learnt
how to prepare soup he might become a perfect man.