chapter  7
16 Pages

New Parents for Old

Acquisitiveness, the disposition to attach as much as one can of the surrounding world, may be merely an inconvenience when the child has placed in his pocket what belongs on the table, or in the keyhole; or when he grows up habituated to helping himself to other people's belongings. Yet we would not have the child adopt early in his career the medieval vow of poverty and literally avoid all acquisition. I t is not necessary to choose between poverty and avarice as life's ideal. Again the task for the parent is to learn to use the universal tendency of all human beings, not to say all living beings, to acquire, in ways that are socially suitable and individually satisfying.