T EMPORARY conditions may contribute to the strain to see which results in the production of errors of refraction; but its foundation lies in wrong habits of thought. In attempting to relieve it the physician has continually to struggle against the idea that to do anything well requires effort. This idea is drilled into us from our cradles. The whole educa tional system is based upon it; and in spite of the won derful results attained by Montessori through the total elimination of every species of compulsion in the edu cational process, educators who call themselves modern still cling to the club, under various disguises, as a neces sary auxiliary to the process of imparting knowledge.
It is as natural for the eye to see as it is for the mind to acquire knowledge, and any effort in either case is not only useless, but defeats the end in view. You may force a few facts into a child's mind by various kinds of com pulsion, but you cannot make it learn anything. The facts remain, if they remain at all, as dead lumber in the brain. They contribute nothing to the vital processes of thought; and because they were not acquired naturally and not assimilated, they destroy the natural impulse of the mind toward the acquisition of knowledge, and by the time the child leaves school or college, as the case may be, it not only knows nothing but is, in the majority of cases, no longer capable of learning.
In the same way you may temporarily improve the sight by effort, but you cannot improve it to normal, and