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Page 7 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.21 n.1

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

HUMAN RELATIONS IN THE HOME AND SCHOOL by RUBY CASTLE NORTHCUTT Elementary Supervisor, Ashland, Kentucky I "There probably never has been a time in the history of our country when it was more important for a man to know how to get along with other people. In times of expanding frontiers it was possible for him to go off by himself and carve a niche in the world without caring greatly what others thought of him. In times of industrial expansion there was a place for everyone with skill and knowledge and energy. "Today something more is required. If one is to be successful in almost any arena of human activity, he must have the knack of getting along with others. He must understand them, must attune his conduct to theirs, must be able to win their friendship, their respect, and their cooperation." Does that bit of philosophy sound modern: It was written fifteen years ago by Milton Wright-written before World War II, before jet propulsion, before the atom bomb! If we had won the friendship and cooperation of Germany and Japan, think what a tragic loss would have been avoided! The subject of human relations has been the consideration of every eminent pen, from the days of Solomon to the present. To say anything strictly new would be impossible; but perhaps we can present a few items that will set you to thinking about this important topic. In the words of the poet: "We have gathered posies from other men's flowers. Nothing but the thread that binds them is ours." II If you have any doubts as to the importance of human relations in the home and school, examine your own life. How much time do you spend thinking about, planning, worrying about your family? If you are in an average family you are almost constantly confronted with these problems. You plan your meals, bedtime, furniture arrangements, baths, clothes, and recreation trying to please the family or else trying to defy the family and prove your own independence. In order to bring about harmonious relationships in the home and school we need to know a great deal about human behavior. Some people seem to be born with this knowledge, but all of us can acquire it in some small degree or measure. "Self-preservation is the fundamental law of human behavior." Take any emotion, or any instinct or impulse, or any character trait of any man, woman or child, and you can trace it to that fundamental law. Psychologists tell us that we are born with three emotions-fear, rage, and love. As we grow older these emotions develop, branch out and subdivide until the adult is said to have seven emotions: fear, disgust, wonder, anger, dejection, elation, and affection. Each of these emotions is a mighty factor in human achievement. Each of them is a powerful stimulus to action, and each of them is expressed in a very definite way-that is, each is reflected in its own particular instinct. If you want to influence someone, there is no emotion you can appeal to so strong as the emotion of fear. Every man has it in some form. The old-fash- ioned preacher worked on it when he pictured a fiery hell; mother says, "Just wait until your father comes home, he will whip you;"' the teacher says you are sure to fail unless you study, and so it goes. The emotion of disgust arouses the instinct of repulsion. In its most ele- inentary state it is caused by an unpleasant taste or a noxious odor. If you want to make an impression on someone. check up on this emotion. You know the old saying about onions, "They build you up physically, and drag you down

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