Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/341

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337
DESTRUCTIVE TENDENCIES OF MODERN LIFE

struction of parents and teachers in the rules of proper physiological development. Rules for the development and classification of children in the public schools of Chicago have, after much painstaking labor, been pretty well worked out. These results should be collated and compared with similar results obtained in other cities and good working rules deduced from them for national application. Only a board of skilled workers under national control would have the authority, the influence and the means to formulate and apply such rules.

No doubt this proposition will meet with opposition from the stagnant elements of society, known as conservative, and from scientists falsely so-called (being in truth pedants and the greatest hinderance to all true progress). All thinking men will agree, however, that if such an investigation did nothing else, it would tend to develop the physical conscience and clarify the average conception of life. Could people generally be convinced that over-indulgence in flesh food is one of the principal causes, not alone of early decay and death, but of the almost unquenchable human appetite for alcohol and narcotics, an immense stride would have been made in human progress. And it is extremely likely that of the $600,000,000 which this country is said to spend annually in caring for its defectives and criminals, enough could be saved in a few years to carry on such an investigation as we have outlined for a lifetime. 'Science is the only true charity and the only true remedy.' Allowing degeneration, allowing intemperance, allowing immorality, gluttony and ignorance to emasculate our youth, poison the body politic, fill our penal institutions and, worst of all, prevent the proper development of our men and women, is race suicide on a scale not contemplated in ordinary family life, but multiplied by millions, and surely, unless checked, leading to national destruction and disintegration. The remedy is a proper solution of the so-called common questions of life: the neglected body, the despised dietetics, the irksome exercise must be studied by trained and accomplished experts not clinicians, not school teachers, not moralists, not sanitarians in the ordinary acceptation of the term, but specialists in humaniculture, humanists in the true sense, and these great and simple truths, which the Greeks mastered, must be learned over again in the light of modern science (not pedantry), and taught to our children's children; then shall be realized "that future where the highest art and most perfect science will be those of the development of man's faculties and aptitudes to a degree of which the Greek civilization will afford an indication instead of an unattainable ideal."