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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78


All Animal Life is Sensitive to Environment, but of all living things the child is the most sensitive. Surroundings act upon it as the outside world acts upon the plate of a camera. Every possible influence will leave its impress upon the child, and the traits which it inherited will be overcome to a certain extent, in many cases the new ones being more apparent than heredity. The child is like a cut diamond, its many facets receiving sharp, clear impressions not possible to a pebble, with this difference, however, that the change wrought in the child from the influences without becomes constitutional and ingrained. A child absorbs environment. It is the most susceptible thing in the world to-influence, and if that force be applied rightly and constantly when the child is in its most receptive condition the effect will be pronounced, immediate, and permanent.

Where shall we begin? Just where we begin with the plant, at the very beginning. . . . The curse of modern child-life in America is over-education. . . . Above ail else, the child must be a healthy animal. I do not work with diseased plants. They do not cure themselves of disease. They only spread disease among their fellows and die before their time.