Human nature does not change much, but societies to better it continue to spring up all the time. The American Board of Applied Christianity sponsors the latest effort--a school of rational living, teaching thought and thrift.
The Board's statistics prove that only two out of every hundred people do any thinking at all. If this be so--and attention to newspapers and street-car conversations would seem to prove it--the proposed school would not be entirely useless, provided the other ninety-eight people were worth bothering about and could be reached. The Board is also alarmed because most of the murders and hold-ups have been committed by young men, as if the initiative of youth, even when misdirected, were something reprehensible!
Every new movement must be provided with a suitable vocabulary, and the school of rational living has invented two new gems. Those workers who will instruct the youth of the country in the rudiments of thought are to be known as "civic engineers", while the manipulators of youthful morals glory in the title of "religious engineers".
Any movement which teaches people to think, and gives them something to think about, cannot help but be of some use. Bizarre ideas and titles, while they are good advertising, are always modified under working conditions. And if the new school meets its great test, that of controlling the energy of youth as expressed by 10,000 murders a year, who will gainsay its merit?