It is not true that children have no feeling for the suffering of others, for the injustice and social guilt of our world; the only evidence for such a false view would be children brought up in an artificial environment, removed from reality. But even these children have a longing for the life of a “street urchin,” for friendship with “poor children,” which ought to show anyone the error of this opinion.
The awakening child knows about the divided nature of human beings: the fight against themselves, against their evil impulses, and the fight for themselves, for the true calling of humanity. Thus children can be awakened at an early age to the mystery of humanity, for they know the longing of the human soul and its capacity for devotion. The child lives in expectation, with an inkling of the divine, which is the only way in which the mystery of humanity can be unveiled. The educator’s task of awakening the child to individual people and to all humankind accords with a living concern inherent in the child.
The children’s community should not be exclusive; rather it needs the strength to receive and include new children in its circle again and again. Children are truly ready to trust and are therefore open at any moment to be friends with a newcomer.
No work with children is truly alive unless it reaches out toward all humanity. This is so deeply implanted in the children that they have a constant urge to extend their children’s community by fighting for and winning others for their group. From their own circle of experience they seek to reach the outside world of children and adults, often very different from their own.