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Unformatted text preview: corporal punishment[1] and others who are made rebels by it are melted into conformity by ostracism. [1] It is a wishy-washy ideal of teaching that regards pain as equivalent to cruelty. On the contrary, it may be real cruelty to spare pain,--cruelty to the future of the child. Pain is a great teacher, whether inflicted by the CHAPTER II. 22 knife one has been told not to play with, or by the parent when the injunction not to play with the knife has been disregarded. The distribution of praise and blame constitutes the distribution of public opinion. Wherever public opinion is free to exercise its power it is a weapon of extraordinary potency before which almost nothing can stand. One might define a free nation as one where public opinion has no limits,[1] where no one is prevented from the expression of belief about the action of others, and no one is exempted from the pressure of opinion. Conversely an autocracy is one where there is but little room for the public use of praise and but little power to blame, especially in regard to the rulers. But in all societies, whether free or otherwise, people are constantly praising, constantly blaming one another, whether over the teacups or the wine glasses, in the sewing circle or the smoking rooms, in the midst of families, in the press, in the great halls of the states and nations. These are "the mallets" by which society beats or attempts to beat individuals into the accepted shape. [1] In fact, Oliver Wendell Holmes has defined as the great object of human society the free growth and expression of human thought. How far we are from that ideal! Men and women and children all strive to be praised, if not by their own group, by some other group or by some generation. It is, therefore, a high achievement to introduce a new ideal of character and personality to the group. Men--whose opinion as to desirability and praiseworthiness has been the prepotent opinion--love best of all beauty in woman. Therefore, the ide...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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