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Unformatted text preview: ll and who rely on adverse criticism. The hunger for appreciation
is a deep, intense need, and many of the problems of life would melt before the proper use of praise.
"Fine words butter no parsnips" means that reward of other kinds is needed to give substance to praise. Praise
only without reward losses its value. "I get lots of 'Thank you's' and 'You are a good fellow'," complained a
porter to me once, "but I cannot bring up my family on them." In their hearts, no matter what they say, the
majority of people place highly him who is just in compensation and reward and they want substantial goods.
Many a young scientist of my acquaintance has found that election to learned societies and praise and respect
palled on him as compared to a living salary. Money can be exchanged for vacations, education, books, good
times and the opportunity of helping others, but praise has no cash exchange value.
Blame and punishment are intensely individual matters. Where they are used to correct and to better the
character, where they are the tools of the friends and teacher and not the weapons of the enemy, great care
must be used. Character building is an aim, not a technique, and the end has justified the means. Society has
just about come to the conclusion that merely punishing the criminal does not reform him, and merely to
punish the child has but part of the effect desired. In character training punishment and blame must bring
PAIN, but that pain must be felt to be deserved (at least in the older child and adult) and not arouse lasting
anger or humiliation. It must teach the error of the ways and prepare the recipient for instruction as to the right
away. Often enough the pain of punishment and blame widens the breach between the teacher and pupil CHAPTER II. 24 merely because the former has inflicted pain without recompense.
One might put it thus: The pleasure of praise and reward must energize, the pain of blame and punishment.
must teach, else teacher and society have misused these social tools.
"Very well," I hear some readers say, "is conscience to be dismissed so shortly? Hav...
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- Spring '11