The Reconstructed School eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about The Reconstructed School.

If the teacher holds democracy in mind, all the while, as the goal of endeavor, she will find abundant opportunities to inculcate and develop the democratic ideal.  By tactful suggestion she directs the activities of the children into channels that lead to unity of purpose.  Where help is needed, she arranges that help may be forthcoming.  Where sympathy will prove a solace, sympathy will be given, for sympathy grows spontaneously in a democratic atmosphere.  Books, pictures, and flowers come forth as if by magic to bear their kindly messages and to render their appointed service.  By the subtle alchemy of her very presence, the teacher who is deeply imbued with the spirit of democracy fuses the spirits of her pupils and causes them to blend in the pursuit of truth.  Thus she brings it to pass that the spirit of democracy dominates the school and each pupil comes to feel a sense of responsibility for the well-being of all the others.  So the school achieves the goal of democracy by means of the studies pursued, and the pupils come to experience the altruism, the impulse to serve, and the centrifugal urge of the democratic spirit.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

SERENITY

Serenity does not mean either stolidity or lethargy; far otherwise.  Nor does it mean sluggishness, apathy or phlegmatism; quite the contrary.  It does mean depth as opposed to shallowness, bigness as opposed to littleness, and vision as opposed to spiritual myopia.  It means dignity, poise, aplomb, balance.  It means that there is sufficient ballast to hold the ship steady on its way, no matter how much sail it spreads.  When we see serenity, we are quite aware of other spiritual qualities that foster it and lift it into view.  We know that courage is one of the hidden pillars on which it rests and that sincerity contributes to its grace and charm.  It is a vital crescent quality as staunch as the oak and as graceful as the rainbow.  It evermore stands upon a pedestal, and a host of devotees do it homage.  It is as majestic and beautiful as the iceberg but as warm-hearted as love.  It has reserve, and yet it attracts rather than repels.  A thousand influences are poured into the alembic of the spirit, and serenity issues forth in modest splendor.

This quality of the spirit both betokens and embodies power, and power governs the universe.  Its power is not that of the storm that harries and devastates, but rather that of the sunshine that fructifies, purifies, chastens, and ripens.  It does not rush or crash into a situation but steals in as quietly as the dawn, without noise or bombast, and, by its gentle influence, softens asperities and wins a smile from the face of sorrow, or discouragement, or anger.  Its presence transforms discord into harmony, irradiates gloom, and evokes rare flowers from the murky soil of discontent.  Whatever storms may rage elsewhere and whatever darkness may enshroud, it ever keeps its place as the center

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The Reconstructed School from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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