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Thinking of the Future of Our Children


 I often hear it said that it is democratic that we should leave our children to decide their own future. Can you say so without any doubt?  Will they not need any pilot to guide them in the long voyage of life?
 I think it is very unkind of parents to leave their children alone. Some parents have little hesitation about compelling their children to engage in their family occupations even if they are unwilling to. If the children often hear their parents complaining of their family occupations, they will be inevitably unwilling to succeed their parents.
 Aren't we too intent on encouraging our children to enter colleges of the first rank as if there were a guarantee that a rosy future would result from the entrance into that kind of colleges?  If we think much of sending our children to colleges and make light of the painful efforts which they have made, can there be anything else crueler to our children?
 Just as balloons are of various sizes and colors, so our children are of very different caliber; some of them are of large caliber, but regrettably others are not of large caliber, that is to say, not every one can be a Hideyoshi Toyotomi or a Takamori Saigo.
 We should not be pessimistic of their caliber even if it is not large. The most important thing is to cultivate and improve their in-born caliber to the fullest. A small balloon is splendid and bright when it is filled out, and on the contrary a large one is poor and wretched when it is deflated.
 Their happiness does not depend on how large their caliber is but how industriously they try to lead a life worthy of man.
 If we have been watching our sons and daughters growing up since their childhood, we are expected to know exactly how large their caliber is.
 We should instruct them not to be idle or to be possessed by inferiority, but to walk boldly and fearlessly along the way they want to. This is the fundamental thing to be taken into consideration in guiding our children.