2. Much more widely spread is what my Master calls “the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food.” This is a matter that concerns the parent more than the teacher, but at least the teacher may gradually lead his boys to see the cruelty involved in killing animals for food. Then, even if the boy is obliged to eat meat at home, he will give it up when he is a man, and will give his own children a better opportunity than he himself had. If parents at home and teachers at school would train young children in the duty of loving and protecting all living creatures, the world would be much happier than it is at present.
3. “The treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India,” says the Master, is a proof that “this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of Brotherhood.” To get rid of this form of cruelty every boy must be taught the great lesson of love, and much can be done for this in school as well as at home. The boy at school has many special opportunities of learning this lesson, and the teacher should point out the duty of showing courtesy and kindness to all who are in inferior positions, as well as to the poor whom he may meet outside. All who know the truth of reincarnation should realise that they are members of one great family, in which some are younger brethren and some elder. Boys must be taught to show gentleness and consideration to servants, and to all who are below them in social position; caste was not intended to promote pride and rudeness, and Manu teaches that servants should be treated as the children of the family.
A great part of the teacher’s work lies in the playground, and the teacher who does not play with his boys will never quite win their hearts. Indian boys as a rule do not play enough, and time should be given for games during the school day. Even the teachers who have not learned to play in their youth should come to the playground and show interest in the games, thus sharing in this part of the boy’s education.
In schools where there are boarding-houses the love of the teacher is especially necessary, for in them the boarding-house must take the place of the home, and a family feeling must be created there. Bright and affectionate teachers will be looked on as elder brothers, and difficulties which escape rules will be got rid of by love.
In fact, all the many activities of school life should be made into channels through which affection can run between teacher and pupil, and the more channels there are the better it will be for both. As the boy grows older these channels will naturally become more numerous, and the love of the school will become the friendship of manhood. Thus love will have her perfect work.