These three can be the best possible supporters or the worst enemies of your educational scheme. Mothers by nature adore their children and excite their individualism. Patriots try to engage the whole heart and imagination of a child for its own country. Priests are asking the whole sympathy of a child for their creed and their church. To be individualistic, to be a patriot and a believer are the quite natural gifts of a healthy person. But maternal love exaggerates very often the individualism of a child and makes it egotistic and selfish; exclusively cultivated patriotism degenerates into chauvinism; and exclusive church education makes a bigot. These three kinds of people (alas! the majority), egotists, chauvinists and bigots, will be against an international scheme of education. But you must say to the sensible mothers: The international education of your child will not kill its individuality, but, on the contrary, will use it to the best advantage for mankind and for itself. You are an enemy of your son if you educate him to be an egotist and egoist. In egotism and egoism one has the worst company in this life, the company which leads to pessimism and disgust of life.
You must say to the sensible patriots: International education approves of patriotic as of a natural inclination; only the new education intends to make a window in every fatherland so that the child may see its neighbours and stretch its hand to greet them.
And you must say to the sensible priests: The international board of education will let every child go to its own church and learn the catechism from its own parish priest; but it will be brought in touch with the children of different creeds, and it will pray with them upon the general ground of all the creeds.
THE INTERNATIONAL BOARD OF EDUCATION.
1. It shall consist of the representatives of all the boards of education in the world.
2. The members of the board shall officially represent their own country.
3. The board will be supported materially by the respective Governments, and it will dispose of a great fortune from private legacies. For all the philanthropists and peacemakers and peace wishers will support such an institution rather than any other in the world.
4. The authority of this board shall be equal to the authority of an international political congress.
5. Its duty will be to control education all over the world, banishing or restricting individualism, egotism, chauvinism and bigotism, and promoting by all means panhumanism by developing the mind for collective work, mutual help, personal goodness and humbleness and social greatness.