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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Aphorisms
By Friedrich Fröbel (1782–1852)
 
I SEE in every child the possibility of a perfect man.  1
 
  The child-soul is an ever-bubbling fountain in the world of humanity.  2
 
  The plays of childhood are the heart-leaves of the whole future life.  3
 
  Childish unconsciousness is rest in God.  4
 
  From each object of nature and of life, there goes a path toward God.  5
 
  Perfect human joy is also worship, for it is ordered by God.  6
 
  The first groundwork of religious life is love—love to God and man—in the bosom of the family.  7
 
  Childhood is the most important stage of the total development of man and of humanity.  8
 
  Women must make of their educational calling a priestly office.  9
 
  Isolation and exclusion destroy life; union and participation create life.  10
 
  Without religious preparation in childhood, no true religion and no union with God is possible for men.  11
 
  The tree germ bears within itself the nature of the whole tree; the human being bears in himself the nature of all humanity; and is not therefore humanity born anew in each child?  12
 
  In the children lies the seed-corn of the future.  13
 
  The lovingly cared for, and thereby steadily and strongly developed human life, also the cloudless child life, is of itself a Christ-like one.  14
 
  In all things works one creative life, because the life of all things proceeds from one God.  15
 
  Let us live with our children: so shall their lives bring peace and joy to us; so shall we begin to be and to become wise.  16
 
  What boys and girls play in earliest childhood will become by-and-by a beautiful reality of serious life; for they expand into stronger and lovelier youthfulness by seeking on every side appropriate objects to verify the thoughts of their inmost souls.  17
 
  This earliest age is the most important one for education, because the beginning decides the manner of progress and the end. If national order is to be recognized in later years as a benefit, childhood must first be accustomed to law and order, and therein find the means of freedom. Lawlessness and caprice must rule in no period of life, not even in that of the nursling.  18
 
  The kindergarten is the free republic of childhood.  19
 
  A deep feeling of the universal brotherhood of man,—what is it but a true sense of our close filial union with God?  20
 
  Man must be able to fail, in order to be good and virtuous; and he must be able to become a slave in order to be truly free.  21
 
  My teachers are the children themselves, with all their purity, their innocence, their unconsciousness, and their irresistible claims; and I follow them like a faithful, trustful scholar.  22
 
  A story told at the right time is like a looking-glass for the mind.  23
 
  I wish to cultivate men who stand rooted in nature, with their feet in God’s earth, whose heads reach toward and look into the heavens; whose hearts unite the richly formed life of earth and nature, with the purity and peace of heaven,—God’s earth and God’s heaven.  24
 
 
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