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little? Is not teaching a sharing in discovery? Teaching is not giving to another, but a receiving by both of us of a higher vision of the truth. One may know much more than the other of some subject, but, as they face it, truth is ever regarded by the one who knows most about it as superior to himself. One may know a little more than another of some truth as they face it, but the one who knows the most will be the most teachable and will be apt to learn most.
When two people stand side by side, both get a higher vision than one can alone; this is true teaching.
So-called instruction is the very lowest kind of teaching. It has its place but it regards merely the approaches to truth; simply how to investigate; what kind of books to read; what part of nature to study; how to conduct an experiment and a hint as to what man must look for in his own observations.
Truth is a great temple into which each person must go alone, but two can approach the temple and may be very near to each other, but will only be partially conscious in their sublimest moments of the meaning and importance of truth to each other.
How little can be given from one human being to another by dictation, by domination! Education is a leading out, an unfolding, an awakening. It is the bringing of an individual into consciousness of himself and a consciousness of his source, and the consciousness of his brothers.
Teach a smile? Yes, it is the one thing that brings soul near to soul,—the basis of all teaching.
The smile denotes the union of two beings learning from and with each other.
In the old days, especially in the time of the Romans, education was a very cruel process. One old teacher of the Middle Ages has recorded faithfully the number of whippings and other forms of punishment he had given as if it were the greatest of virtues and the highest aim of his life.
If we look through the reforms in education we will find a great change. No longer do we call the pedagogue “the servant who drives the unwilling student to school,” as the etymology of the word indicates. He is a companion and friend who leads the pupil to something that becomes a mutual delight and joy. It is from the teacher who is loved that the student learns.
Not only is the smile an aid to education; it is now a necessity. Love is the fulfilment of the law,-not only of the spirit but the development of human relationship.
An old adage tells us, “ Love is blind." This is untrue. “Love," says Emerson, “is not a hood, but an eye waterer."
The smile also denotes teachableness. Of all virtues teachableness is perhaps the supreme. Any teacher has seen one of great ability outdone by another of lesser ability simply because one was teachable, tried hard and developed, the other with pride for smartness grew less and less profound, more and more brilliant, but never unfolded or caught the higher vision.
Carlyle has recorded a peculiar fable which illustrates something which is often overlooked, that the pupil who learns and grows most quickly may not be of so true and profound a nature as the one who is slower to unfold.
“What is the use of thee, thou gnarled sapling?”
said a young larch tree to a young oak. “I grow three feet in a year, thou scarcely so many inches; I am straight and taper as a reed, thou straggling and twisted as a loosened withe.'
“And thy duration," answered the oak, “is some third part of a man's life and I am appointed to flourish for a thousand years. Thou art felled and sawed into paling, where thou rottest and art burned with a single summer; of me are fashioned battle ships, and I carry mariners and heroes into unknown seas.
“The richer a nature,” continues Carlyle, “the harder and slower its development. Two boys were once of a class in the Edinburgh grammar school. John ever trim, precise, and dux; Walter ever slovenly, confused and dolt. In due time, John became Baillie John of Hunter-Square, and Walter became Sir Walter Scott of the Universe. The quickest and completest of all vegetables is the cabbage.”
NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE?
All human emotions may be divided into two classes; positive and negative.
The smile is primarily positive. It expresses a positive attitude of the mind.
It is important to distinguish the positive from the negative emotions.
The negative feeling tends to kill itself. It is short lived. It poisons everyone. It brings pain and sickness, and shortens life.
A positive emotion brings health and peace. It assimilates, strengthens, and expresses power. It brings greater pleasure; it brings union with our fellow-men and permanent satisfaction with ourselves. It deepens experience and prolongs life.
Positive emotions seem to place man in his right relation in the universe.
The most important positive emotions are, probably, love and joy.
Joy, love, courage, these are realizations of one's birthright.
Negative emotions, on the contrary, deny man his birthright. Fear, hate, grief, cause us to whine and degrade us; they remove our candlestick out of its place so that our light ceases to shine.
The true smile expresses the positive emotions; is always positive, not negative. It is the very contradiction of all negative emotions.
Life is a positive thing. A crown not to be won
by mere denials. “Thou shalt not " belongs to the old dispensation; “Blessed,” to the new.
People seem to think that sin is the most real thing in this world, -that darkness is more real than light.
Not so; we can bring light through a tube or along a wire but how can we transmit darkness? If we turn off the light, its absence becomes darkness; but when we turn on the light again the darkness vanishes. How then, dare we say that darkness is as real as light--that evil is as substantial as good?
Here is one of the greatest lessons to be learned in life.
Ulysses, or to use his Greek name, Odysseus, stopped the ears of his sailors with wax and tied himself to a mast that he might hear but not yield to the seductive song of the sirens. Orpheus sailed by in safety with no rope about him and with no wax in his ears, because his soul was filled with sweeter music than even the sirens could utter. He who has cultivated a love for his race and whose soul is filled with sympathy and tenderness can smile at an insult.
There is a parable of an empty heart in the New Testament which is seldom read and then possibly, rarely understood.
A man seems to have cast out the unclean spirit" by resolutions or by his own will.
Then he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and findeth none. Then he saith, “I will return to my house from whence I came out.” And when he is come he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth and taketh seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell therein. And the last state of