By: Rudolf Dreikurs
(From a course outline by Edith Dewey 2/25/69)
- Man is inherently neither good nor bad. His social usefulness and personal efficiency depend on his individual training and development, on his own interpretation of his early experiences, and on the life situations with which he is confronted.
- Man is not aware of his own individual strength and powers. He has intellectual, moral, and creative capacities that he does not recognize and, therefore, cannot fully utilize.
- Man can control his own actions. Emotions are not his master but his tools. He is motivated by his convictions, his attitudes, his goals which he sets for himself, although he often may not be aware of them, nor realize their fallacies.
- Man influences his own destiny without knowing it; he is aware more of what is done to him than what he does to others.
- Man’s greatest obstacle to full social participation and cooperation is an underestimation of his own strength and value. Society’s educational methods and training procedures tend to instill false concepts and attitudes about ones self in comparison with others, and cultural patterns fortify them.
- Man’s greatest evil is fear. Courage and belief in his own ability are the basis for all his virtues. Through his realization of his own value he can feel belonging to others, and be interested in others.
- The basis of harmonious human relationships is respect for one’s own dignity, combined with respect for the rights and dignity of others. It precludes a settlement of human conflicts through force and appeasement. Social equilibrium is obtainable only through free agreement of equals in the spirit of democracy.
- Man is the ruler in democracy; therefore, every member of society is entitled to the same dignity and respect that is accorded to a sovereign. Fundamental human equality is not affected by any individual incidental characteristic like race, color, religion, sex, age, social and economic position, education, physical or mental health and beauty, moral or intellectual development, skill or personal achievement; any assumption of superiority or inferiority on the basis of such incidental factors is arbitrary and fallacious.
- Peace of mind and peace on earth can be achieved when men will abolish the superiority of one man over the other, when each person’s value will be firmly established in his own mind, as well as in the mind of his fellow men and when no compensatory desire for prestige or power will set man against his fellow man.
- We need each other’s constant help to maintain our vision of what we each could be, to fortify our good intentions and noble aspirations, to counteract the discouraging demoralizing experience to which we are all exposed in our daily living.
Copied from a course outline by Edith Dewey 2/25/69