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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 78

The Future Max or Woman

The Future Max or Woman.

Now, failure of eyesight is only one of a dozen ways in which adverse school conditions may manifest themselves in connection with the organism. Pathological processes seek out the lines of least resistance in the particular boy or girl, but there is one direction in which all young people must come to suffer more or less so long as health is neglected and excessive stress is laid on the faculty of memory throughout puberty, and that is in the important future function of reproduction. From the topmost layers of the brain—the temple of the emotions, the mind, and the spirit, where it has been ordained that under normal conditions all that might otherwise be gross and animal in man may be transmuted and apotheosed into the purest and most altruistic impulses of his beinf—from the brain to the uttermost parts of his body there should be going on throughout puberty and adolescence an active, though quiet process of orderly nutrition, growth, and development, ensuring to the mature being all those latent powers and possibilities upon which the strength and greatness of any individual and any race must ultimately depend. We cannot achieve the ideal of Socrates and Plato, but we might at least approach it, and in doing so we should produce a race not only strong in body and mind, but with infinitely greater moral and religious potentialities than the present harassed and overpressed generation.

. . . . Mr Wilson challenges me to show him that "an undue Proportion of inmates of Seacliff owe their misfortune to overpressure at school or college." What can this mean, taken in conjunction with the preceding remarks, but that Mr Wilson thinks that school overpressure (excess of study and deficient open-air recreation and exercise) has a perfect right to claim a considerable proportion of victims. This is precisely where I am directly at issue with him.