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Extra resources for Means and Ends of Education
Real students, cultivators of themselves, are not inspired by the love of fame or wealth or position, but they are driven by an inner impulse to which they cannot but yield. Their enthusiasm is not a fire that blazes for an hour and then dies out; it is a heat from central depths of life, self-fed and inextinguishable. The impulse to nobler and freer life springs, never from masses of men, but always from single luminous minds and glowing hearts. The lightning of great thoughts shows the way to heroic deeds.
Whatever survives, survives through conflict, because it is fit to survive. It does not follow, however, that the best survives, though we must think that in the end this is so, since we believe in God. When serious minds grapple with problems so remote from vulgar opinion that they seem to be meaningless or insoluble, the multitude, ever ready, like a crowd of boys, to mock and jeer, break forth into insult. These men, they cry are wicked, or they are fools. In a society where it is assumed that all are equal, those who are really superior incur suspicion as though it were criminal to be different from the multitude; and hence they rarely win the favor of the crowd.
Hence the number of things we teach the child is of small moment. Those schools, in fact, in which the greatest number of things are taught give, as a rule, the least education. The character of the Roman people, which enabled them to dominate the earth and to give laws to the world, was formed before they had schools, and when their schools were most flourishing they themselves were in rapid moral and social dissolution. We make education and religion too much a social affair, and too little a personal affair.