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Avoiding a Dangerous Blind Lead (18 page), .05
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Those who protest that only the beautiful
Emergencies. By C. V. Gulick. 171 pp. $.40.
The Relation of Juvenile Temperance Teaching
to National Progress*
BY CORA FRANCES STODDARD, A. B.
Secretary of the Scientific Temperance Federation. An Official Delegate of the United States to the
Twelfth International Congress Against Alcoholism, London, July, 1909.
fascinated social and political philos- as Ex-President Roosevelt recently said, “rep
ophers. Plato saw it as the embodi- resents a potential addition to the productive ment of wisdom, courage, unity, and justice. capacity and enlightened citizenship of the Cicero, St. Augustine, Sir Thomas Moore, nation, or if allowed to suffer, a potential adDante, and modern constitution makers have dition to the destructive forces of the comgiven us visions, according to their times and munity.” the progress of civilization, of the state where- Hence, if national progress is to be conin there shall be not merely a safe commerce stant, the temperance training of the child and a common defence, but tranquility, order, must, therefore, receive our most profound atand the highest welfare of the individual. tention. I need not remind this audience that The history of civilization is largely the his- across the ideals of high national life alcohol tory of the struggle to realize the "glories of cuts a destructive way in its waste of physithe possible” in the individual and social life cal vigor, achieving ability, beauty and of the human race.
strength of moral purpose. What, then, may Beneath the strivings for material suprem- the temperance training of the child reasonacy in this twentieth century we are beginning ably be expected to contribute to national proto comprehend the fact that nations are great, gress? not by their wealth of mines, forests and acres, not by their commerce on land and sea, not by their armies and navies counted by First of all, it tends to increase sobriety, regiments and battleships. Nations are great and I say this realizing fully that sobriety is as their people are strong and skilled in mind
a means, not an end. But sobriety gives a and body, self-controlled, wise, just, and free man a fair chance to develop his powers to in the opportunity to make of themselves the
their utmost capacity. It eliminates certain most possible within the limits of their obstacles from the way of progress, and there"brother people's weal". The real progress fore, in so far as the temperance education of of a nation is thus the action and reaction of the youth tends to increase sobriety, it is makthe true life and purposes of its men and ing possible increased soundness of national
life. Partly as a sequence of this conception of Inquiries in Great Britain a few years ago national life, has come in recent years a high- showed that among the adults engaged in er valuation of children. We hear much active temperance work, a very large proporof the conservation of natural resources. But tion had temperance instruction in youth, that the care and training of the child is the con- of the children taught in temperance socie*An address delivered at the Twelfth International ties, from 50 to 90 per cent. remained abCongress Against Alcoholism, London, July 18-24.
RAISING THE LEVEL OF SOBRIETY
stainers, and that with most of those who
did not remain abstainers, the effect of the school scientific temperance instruction, voiced teaching was to make them temperate and these prophetic words: “The day is surely well-conducted members of society.
coming in America when from the schoolSimilar instances might be cited from other houses on the hill-tops and in the valleys all nations. Yet not all temperance teaching will over the land will come the trained haters of immediately yield visible results for good. It alcohol to pour a whole Niagara of ballots is of varying quantity and quality. In some upon the saloon."
We believe we see the cases it results in life-long abstinence, in dawn of that day in America, that under the others in greater sobriety than otherwise influence of juvenile temperance societies, of probable. Often it brings a more sympathetic the Sunday Schools, and especially of the understanding of the efforts to do away with public schools, which are the only agency the drink habit and traffic. It may show it- reaching at all generally all classes and conself in responsiveness to the proper training ditions of pupils, “a new generation hasof the second generation to habits of absti- grown up which has found that alcoholic nence and in personal influence against the drinks are not necessary to health or happiformation of any drink habit by youth. The
ness''1 and “the evils of intemperance are fruit of education always ripens slowly. (now) being fought intelligently because But into the life of the man and the woman there has come to the polls a generation of who have been taught the truth about alco- voters who have been instructed systematicalholic drinks revealed by science, there comes
ly that alcohol is injurious."2 an influence which, consciously or not, must
PERSONAL FACTORS IN NATIONAL PROGRESS modify and change, to a certain degree, their attitude toward the use of intoxicants.
The citizen should be an asset of the na
tion, not a liability. Health, efficiency, wise PRACTICAL RESULTS OF SOBRIETY
economy, brotherliness, morality– these are Unquestionably this explains the rising qualifications which the twentieth century delevel of sobriety observable in the nations mands of patriotic sons and daughters of the where juvenile temperance instruction has nations in their struggle upward toward the gone on longest.
realization of the ideal state. A marvelous change has taken place in the
HEALTH AND EFFICIENCY drink habit in the past century. In the United States, for instance, it is true that the con- The individual who does not burden his sumption of drink has reached a high per cap- health with the perils of drink, other things ita mark, despite the vigorous temperance
being equal, can accomplish more for his work including education though the gain is generation, has more years to give to the proreadily explainable when the conditions of duction of a sound social order, and therepopulation and the energy of the liquor traf- fore, makes a larger return for the training fic are understood. There is, nevertheless, a given him in youth. For evidence of this we tremendous increase, universally admitted, in need not go beyond the well-established stathe sobriety of the people as a whole.
tistics of life insurance societies. There is It may be truthfully said, for example, that woeful waste of social resources when the the growing demands of business for sober or nation rears a man who, by the use of drink completely abstaining employees have fol- ignorantly shortens his period of productivlowed education of youth in the facts showing ty and usefulness. Nothing is more definitely how drink tends to impair efficiency and re- settled than that the beverage use of alcohol liability. A generation of employers has been tends to impair the efficiency which is essenreared who not only have an idea as had their tial to national progress in every direction. fathers that drink makes a poor workman, The conservation of social energy, therefore, but, taught by the facts of science, they now demands that not only should every boy and know the definite risk and loss incurred by girl be taught to train and use their abilities. the employer in many kinds of business if his They should be taught the truth about the employees drink even moderately. The re- habit forming power of alcohol and the dansult is that there are said to be in the United gers in its use. They should be taught to State now nearly 2,000,000 positions which protect their health, strength, endurance, are closed to the man who drinks.
skill, and self-control from harmful agents Twenty-three years ago, when the Federal like alcohol. Thus only will they be equal temperance education law was pending in to the demands and opportunities of modern the United States Congress (in 1886), Mrs. life. Thus will they be able to build surely Mary H. Hunt, the honored apostle of public the foundations of the nation's prosperity, to meet commandingly the emergencies with is essential in the equipment of the men and which a constantly changing social and eco- women who in the years before us are to nomic order confronts them. This is no mere meet adequately the increasing demands of dream. It is proven by the testimonies of their age for human betterment. hundreds of men in all pursuits of active life,
INFLUENCE OF TEMPERANCE EDUCATION ON who almost invariably name sobriety as one
GENERAL MORALITY of the essentials of highest success. And investigation has repeatedly shown that the Whether we regard alcohol as cause or effoundations of such sobriety in a very large fect of many of the ills with which society is majority of cases were laid in the training re
afflicted, it is in either case a link in a vicious ceived in childhood or youth.
circle not only of social misery but of subPRODUCTIVITY What modern civilization might be able to accomplish in the wise use of its productive powers if these were not wasted or diverted from their proper channels by the use of drink, we have never yet been able to prove on a large scale. But experience in limited sections, seems to indicate that if the money spent in drink, which enriches a few and returns to labor a relatively smaller amount than other products of toil, were expended instead for the necessities and simple luxuries of life, the wheels of industry would be speeded and would not as now lose power at every turn because of the stupendous waste of a nation's resources in drink and its attendant evils.
Hence, every boy who is trained to sobriety becomes doubly valuable to the nation since he is likely to become not only an efficient user and developer of national resources, but at the same time he lessens by so much a wasteful loss in national productivity.
RELATION OF ALCOHOL TO SOCIAL SERVICE
But beyond personal and economic considerations lies the welfare of society. The world is astir with strivings toward social uplift. Kindliness and helpfulness were never more
“The power and courage and majesty of life trained to pursue regnant than today. Yet on every hand we unhampered by degenerating habits its own noble ends and the come upon the subtle influence of alcohol as common weal.” it contributes to social misery and blunts the normal moral sensibility which reacts unfaindividual's sense of social responsibility so vorably upon society. For this reason the inthat he is careless of the effects of his own dividual who is early led to apprehend the actions upon his family, upon public order, perils of alcohol not only to himself but to or upon the welfare of the race.
those around him and to those who come after On the other hand, the imposing position him will be less liable to yield to debasing that the drink habit and traffic hold in our temptations which are frequently concomicomplex social order tend to dull the personal tants of the use of alcohol, and which are and civic conscience of many a man and part of the tribute to drink which the nations woman to the stragetic importance of the ef- pay in the gold of priceless manhood. forts to minimize or remove the social ills engendered by the beverage use of alcohol and
EDUCATION AS A FACTOR IN FORESTALLING kindred evils.
NATIONAL DECLINE Intelligence as to the truth about alcohol Last to be developed in human evolution, brings a comprehension of its practical rela- the finer qualities of moral sensitiveness and tions to other social problems, and, therefore, the possibilities of spiritual development are