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erned by principles. Almost every child understands the principle of “obedience to parents.” He (or she) also understands that there are principles of property rights which must be respected in the home. Every boy knows that he must not take his mother's glass vase from the table and break it, nor take money from his father's
purse without permission. We expect a grocer or butcher to act according to the principle of fairness in giving us vegetables that are fresh or in weighing our meat honestly. Many of the foundation principles of life are so simple and sensible that we do not think much about them as we go along. But the best things in our lives are built upon them, and they are very important.
THINGS TO DO
Questions to discuss in your study group:
1. Name four groups in your local community. Do they all have some kind of an organization? Why were these groups organized ?
2. Are all of the groups with which you are familiar organized exactly alike? Why or why not?
3. Why do our city and town governments have different kinds of organizations ?
4. Why does our National Government need a somewhat different kind of organization from that of a town?
5. Why is it important for the members of a family to live happily together? Do you think it is just as important for the various groups in your community to cooperate and work together? Why?
6. Does your family group have any contact with other groups in your community? Can you name several of these? Why is it important to keep peaceful contacts between these groups ?
7. Do you think individuals as well as groups should have certain principles and standards to govern their lives? Name several very simple but important principles you admire in your friends.
8. Name several important principles we expect to find being followed by groups of government officials. Of teachers. Of church leaders.
9. What important principles and standards come to your mind when you think of the new citizenship for which so many readers of this book are working? Suggested field trips:
Arrange for your class group, or committees selected by it, to visit some of the interesting spots in your local community. Two suggestions are given below: 1. Visit the city hall of your city.
(a) What are the objectives (purposes) of the government groups working there?
(6) Where do they get their authority?
(c) What contacts do they have with other groups in the community? 2. Visit a session of a county court.
(a) What objective does it serve?
(b) What contact does it have with the people in the community?
(c) How is it organized to do its work?
(d) Is the organization operated well enough serve the needs of the community?
(e) What authority does the court have to do its work?
Some more words which the student should understand:
ancestors—parents, grandparents, and their parents and grand
parents all the way back. appointed chosen for a job, but not by vote. arrange-put things in order. borders-edges or boundary lines. charters-sets of general rules authorized by the government
which are the foundations on which certain kinds of organizations are built up.
confidence—trust, belief in someone's honesty or ability to make
good. constitutional—in agreement with the principles of the Con
stitution. constitutions-sets of general rules which are the found ion
upon which organizations are built. convenient-handy, well suited for ready use. cooperates—works in a friendly way with other people. customers—regular or frequent buyers. foreign trade-business of buying and selling between people of
two countries. harbon_a body of water forming a safe place where vessels
may stay. obedience doing what one is told to do. property rights-rights which a person has in things which he
owns. prosperget along well. relationship—a well-understood connection between two or more
persons or things. session-meeting. similar somewhat alike. superintendent—a person who watches and directs the activities
of others in an organization. taxes—money which people must pay to the government to help
pay its expenses. transportation—way of getting from one place to another.
The Advantages and Obligations of Group Membership
“No person is worthy to share the advantages of group membership unless he is willing to assume the obligations of such membership.”
* In our last two chapters we learned a great deal about the make-up of groups. We learned something about their purposes and objectives, their leadership and authority, their organization, the way they touch and affect other groups, and the foundations on which their group life is built up. Now we want to know what each member must put into his group life and what he can hope to get out of it.
ADVANTAGES OF GROUP MEMBERSHIP
Every person becomes a member of a family group when he or she is born, although sometimes the family group is broken up by death or is scattered before the child grows up. In almost every other kind of group, the members belong because they want to, and usually because they expect some advantage from their membership. As we have explained, there are a great many things in every person's life which have to be done and which can be done better by a number of people working together in a group than by single persons struggling alone.
It is possible to have a teacher for a single child, and some rich people like to have their children taught in that way. But a boy or a girl in a class at school usually gets as good teaching as he or she needs from the school teachers and has the added advantage of learning how to get along and make friends with other boys and girls—which in itself is a very useful thing to learn.
In a work group the members have a better chance to earn money if they are all helping to make good articles quickly and well, or to sell things at good prices, or to arrange for fair wages and healthful working conditions, than if each one worked at home and had to do the whole of a difficult job by himself.
Members of a group interested in religion can do many good services for one another and for other people, can work together to have a worthy place in which to meet and worship God, and can gain strength and wisdom from one another's advice and experience. A religious person could not have as full a religious life alone.
Governments are usually formed by groups of people for the purpose of making and enforcing laws which will protect the rights of the group members and will give them opportunities (better chances) to improve their lives and make sure of their comfort and happiness. When immigrants come to a new country, they generally find that some kind of government is already being carried on there and they therefore must accept what they find, whether it completely satisfies them or not-although they naturally will not willingly immigrate into a country whose government they hate. When children are born they cannot choose their birthplace so as to begin living under a kindly, helpful form of government. All children are fortunate if they are born in a democracy, and all immigrants are fortunate if they are allowed admission into a democracy; for in a democracy the final authority belongs to the people, and the government groups are organized to serve the people.
Later in this book you will find a chapter (chapter 10) about the rights and opportunities of group membership under the American form of government.
OBLIGATIONS OF A GROUP MEMBER Each person owes some sort of duty to every useful group of which he is a member. He cannot expect to get the advantages of group membership unless he is willing