Jean Jacques Rousseau
I contemplate the child and he pleases me. I imagine him as a man, and he pleases me more. His ardent blood seems to reheat mine… his vivacity rejuvenates me.
The hour sounds. What a change! His eyes cloud over; his gaiety is effaced.
Goodbye, joy! Goodbye, frolicsome games!
A severe and angry man takes him by the hand, says to him gravely, “Let us go, Sir,” and takes him away…
Leave him alone at liberty. Watch him act without saying anything to him.
Consider what he will do and how he will go about it.
Having no need to prove to himself that he is free he never does anything from giddiness and solely to perform an act of power over himself. Does he not know that he is always master of himself?
… He is always ready for anything.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as contemporary political, sociological, and educational thinking. He believed most education methods distorted and denatured a child’s innate sense of what was good for his or her own growth.