Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 83.djvu/82
78 TEE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY
sick or ill-developed youth. Consequently, now as never before, the business world must have boys who are sound in body and in nerves and who know the value of good health, clean living, exercise, right eating and fresh air. As already intimated, the average boy of eight- een has cost the community at least $4,000 to "raise"; — most high- school boys have cost a good deal more. Furthermore, to train that $4,000 boy to the point where he is a real asset in the business, costs that enterprise a considerable additional amount. Therefore the com- munity can not afford, the business into which the boy goes can not afford, to have him break down, because of a weak body, poor nerves, or dissipation, just when he is beginning to bring in fair returns upon his capital cost. The first thing, then, that modern business demands in its apprentices is sound bodies, steady nerves and a good working knowledge of hygiene. These things are worth far more than a knowl- edge of double-entry bookkeeping; and the school, in cooperation with the parents and the community, must provide this kind of teaching.
The next essential for speed is quickness of mind, nimbleness of body and good coordination among all the senses. One doesn't acquire these, however, by stewing all day in an uncomfortable desk over a lot of books. One gets them by using all his muscles and all his senses, in a wide variety of exercises, mental, physical and manual, directed in educative ways and by rational progression, towards well-defined ends — not occult ends, seen only by the inner consciousness of the teacher, but tangible ends visible to the boy himself.
The third essential of speed is team-play. Every schoolroom should be an organism as well knit, as thoroughly balanced, as purposeful as a 'Varsity football team; for that is the kind of coordination towards which every mercantile and manufacturing enterprise is rapidly, and with full understanding of its value, tending. The teacher who still uses competition instead of cooperation as a main spur towards speed, is woefully behind the times, and loses that most valuable aid in edu- cation — working together for a common result.
Effective team-play, however, is founded upon promptness, ready obedience, willingness to subordinate one's self to the general good, en- thusiasm, and that comprehensive quality called loyalty. All these are at the very root of every successful enterprise; and what modern busi- ness asks most eagerly is that the boys who come into it shall obey orders intelligently and promptly; shall see how much, instead of how little, they can accomplish to further the interests of the concern ; and, in whatever they do, shall show the essential virtues of team-play: en- thusiasm, self-subordination and unflagging loyalty.
But a man can not be enthusiastic and effective if he lives in a mere groove. Therefore, while the youth who is to succeed in the complexi- ties of modern industry must be a specialist, he must be a broad one. A man may move fast in a treadmill, but he gets nowhere. On the