=Things of the spirit.=—But education is a spiritual process, as we have been told; and, therefore, education is without value unless it touches the spirit. Indeed, it is only by the spirit that we may test the quality of education. It is spirit that sets metes and bounds and points the way to the fine things of life. A man may live in the back alley of life or on the boulevard, according to the dictates of the spirit. If his spirit cannot react to the finer things, his way will lie among the coarse and bizarre. If he cannot appreciate the glory that is revealed upon the mountain, he will gravitate to the lower levels. If his spirit is not attuned to majestic harmonies, he will drift down to association with his own kind. If he cannot thrill with pleasure at the beauty and fragrance of the lily of the valley, he will seek out the gaudy sunflower. If his spirit cannot rise to the plane of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo, he will roam into fields that are less fruitful. The spirit that is rightly attuned lifts him away from the sordid into the realms of the chaste and the glorified; away from the coarse and ugly into the realm of things that are fine and beautiful; and away from the things that are mean and petty into the zone of the big, the true, the noble, and the good. And so with body, mind, and spirit thus doing their perfect work, he can, at least, look over into the promised land of complete living.
=Altruism.=—We are commanded to let our light shine, and this command is a noble and an inspiring one. A man who by such training as has been depicted approximates complete living is prepared to let his light shine primarily because he has light, and in the next place because his training has made him generous in spirit and altruistic; and his greatest joy comes from letting his light so shine that others may catch his spirit and move up to higher planes of living.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. Why is education not satisfactorily defined by saying that it is a preparation for complete living? Who first stated this definition?
2. What is the relation of the school to complete living?
3. What further training should the school give in better living than to teach the pupils what it is?
4. Give an idea of what is meant by incomplete living so far as the body is concerned.
5. Show that soundness of body is necessary to realize one’s best.
6. What are some reasons for the scarcity of physically perfect men and women?
7. Have we been able to eliminate physical defects and develop physical merits in people to the same extent that we have in domestic animals?
8. What are some of the things that have been done to improve physical man? Which of these have to do primarily with heredity and which with rearing or training?
9. Why is the possession of healthy bodies a matter of national concern?