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Scoffs at Idea of Joy in Work--School Should Aim at Helping Student to Find Profession Which Brings Joy


Speaking yesterday afternoon at Phillips Brooks House, President Eliot in his lecture on "Joy in Work" emphasized the need of a change in the attitude of the average man towards his work.

This subject, he brought out, has great interest to industries, especially those ruled by machinery, and in which the worker has come to be regarded as a cog. Here the answer to the problem will be, said Dr. Eliot, after several hours a day spent in monotonous labor earning a livelihood, to turn to some hard enjoyable work. But at the idea of there being joy in any kind of work, the labor union man scoffs in derision. And this, says Dr. Eliot, is to be deplored. The attitude that there is not happiness in work is the prevalent idea.

When a man chooses a profession, he does so presumably with a knowledge of himself and a fair knowledge of his intended profession. Helping a student to choose a profession or trade in which be will find joy should be the aim of the school. "I have seen multitudes of young men graduate from Harvard College", said Dr. Eliot, "without knowing what they were fit to do or what they wanted to do. . . . The whole elective system is to give college students a chance to try various intellectual paths to see if they can find out what they want to learn".

After the address, President Eliot answered questions, in reply to one of which he said. "I think we must all infer that the policy of labor unions has not secured the present generation of working men any addition to their joy in work. The present generation of working men don't want to do any hard work, and this is especially true of the working men of the descent we roughly describe as American".

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