Earth and Moon, chap. 63
"Anger is just as evil and harmful as addiction to rank, which is often the reason for anger. A humble human being cannot be irritated easily, whilst a haughty person becomes angry immediately. This addiction is the actual main devil amongst human beings, and is very closely connected with Satan. Children will not be seized by this evil spirit until they have attained some level of self‑recognition.
At an early age, when children can hardly speak, tendencies in this regard may already be detected. When you observe several children at play, you will notice that one child will attempt to control the others. Even a child that can hardly speak finds it pleasing when others pay homage to him. This urge is especially strong among those of the female gender. They begin to beautify themselves at an early age, and whoever wishes to ingratiate himself with such a girl need but praise her beauty often. Should you find another girl, however, to be more beautiful, the first will shed secret tears, at the very least.
In boys, strength is of greater importance than beauty. Each of them wants to be the strongest, and conquer his friend. A boy will furnish proof of his strength by every means at his disposal, so as to be acknowledged by his peers as the strongest and most feared.
Earth and Moon, chap. 64 & 65
"Human beings have many complaints. Some complain about bad times and how everything thereby becomes more expensive and more difficult. Others are furious about the government, believing that everything is its fault. Another again blames everything on the clergy, and some blame it on all the luxury. In brief, everyone is blaming the cause of all the world’s current woes on someone or something else. But none of these complainers ask themselves whether they have somehow contributed to this change for the worse in circumstances, while perhaps they themselves have made such contribution and perhaps still do.
I hear a father complain about the luxuries of these times just after he has bought his daughters expensive dresses. What would you say to such a person when he accuses luxury? Nothing other than that if luxury displeases you, why do you then let your pride urge you to buy such expensive dresses for your daughters? Instead of complaining, begin to dress your children simply. Perhaps you will find other people who will follow your example, and they in turn will find others. Then, little by little, these luxury items will disappear, because there will be no one to buy them. Can he who does not improve himself demand that other people improve?
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