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Unformatted text preview: never break!" This ritual was a symbol of the unity of the pair, so that they
fought for each other, shared all personal goods (such as candy, pocket money, etc.,) and were to be loyal and
sympathetic throughout life. Alas, dear partner of my boyhood, most gallant of fighters and most generous of
souls, where are you, and where is our friendship, now?
For the student of mankind the gang is one of the most fascinating phenomena. Here the power of tradition,
without the aid of records, is seen. Throughout America, in a mysterious way, all the boys start spinning tops
at a certain season and then suddenly cease and begin, to play marbles. Without any standardization of a
central type they have the same rules for their games, call them by the same names and use in their songs the
same rhymes and airs. Every generation of children has the same jokes and trick games: "Eight and eight are
sixteen, stick your nose in kerosene"--"A dead cat, I one it, you two it, I three it, you four it, I five it, you six
it, I seven it, you eight it!" The fact is, of course, that there are no generations as distinct entities; there are
always individuals of one age, and there is a mutual teaching and learning going on at all times, which is the
basis of transmission of tradition. Children are usually more conservative and greater sticklers for form and
propriety than even men are; only now and then a freer mind arises whose courage and pertinacity change
Therefore, in the understanding of character the influence of the environment becomes of as fundamental
importance as the consideration of the organic make-up of the individual. The environment in the form of
tradition, social ideal, social status, economic situation, race, religion, family, education is thus on the one
hand the directing, guiding, eliciting factor in character and on the other is the repressing, inhibiting, limiting
Putting the whole thing in another way: the organism is the Microcosmos, or little world, in which the
potentialities of character are...
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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.
- Spring '11