This section is from the "Impaired Health: Its Cause And Cure" (Volume 1) book, by John H. Tilden. Also available from Amazon: Impaired health its cause and cure: A repudiation of the conventional treatment of disease
"The fool inherits, but the wise must get."
The fool inherits. Indeed, the man who waits for a dead man's shoes is waiting for an empty inheritance; for the only inheritances worth while are our static possibilities, which are racial, ancestral, and parental.
The wise man cannot leave wisdom, but he does leave mental potentiality. But if his children succeed to a like wisdom, they must buy and pay for it as he did. The only advantage the children have over their parents is that they may see a little more clearly, and inherit a greater attention and a more persistent purpose. Yet they may not inherit industry. Power for work may be exhausted in the parents.
Indeed, children from wise parents may fail altogether in accomplishing anything; for they may be rendered impotent because of unwise care. When the habits of children are forming, they may have an abnormal conceit, selfishness, envy, jealousy, irritability, or hypocrisy developed that will more than offset any intellectual potency inherited. Careful training at the proper time will overcome these undesirable traits.
We inherit nothing except genus, species, and race. Even racial proclivity may be overcome in a few generations by change of environment; but much sooner by amalgamation.
To wait for money is to refuse to develop talent for securing it. To wait for talent to develop is to wait in vain; for we inherit only potentiality, which is an empty inheritance without cultivation. We inherit potentialty--not disease or affection.
The vital force, or vital energy, of the teachings of a generation or two ago has now given way to cause and effect--action and reaction--stimulation and reaction.
Man's type of body--his material construction--is fixed by heredity. He cannot get away from his genus, which is animal, nor his species, which is man. Man has many physical attributes which are as fixed as law; but his possible reactions are limited only by the variety of stimulants in his environment.
Species possess individuality, which is fixed and transmissible. Man inherits his ancestral type of body. The type has preserved its individuality throughout the ages so fixedly that men of all kinds and climes resemble each other.
The animal man has characteristics that are individual. He has two legs, and a foot on each leg; two arms, and a hand on each arm; a body which presents a front and a back; and, when he stands upright upon his feet and legs, on top of this body is a neck, and on top of the neck is a head. This is a common description of man that fits every member of the species. There are a common anatomy and a common physiology that fit every man, from as far back as man's records run, down to the present. The chemistry of man's body is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
The first step--evolution--out of the common, universal clay type is into races.
Naturalists are not at one in their division of mankind into races. Cuvier classified men into three races; Agassiz divided them into eight races.
A common classification is into five races; namely: the Caucasian, or white, race, to which belong the inhabitants of the greater part of Europe and western. Asia; the Mongolian, or yellow, race, to be found in Tartary, China, and Japan; the Ethiopian, or negro, race, which is found in Africa, Australia, and Papua (New Guinea and other Pacific islands); the American, or red, race--the Indians of South and North America; and the Malayan, or brown, race, found on the islands of the Indian Archipelago. Recent writers place the Malay, Indian, and Mongolian together.
Races divide into nations, peoples, tribes, and families.
Each departure from the common stock of species shows a specific difference. Each race has a personality all its own. The Caucasian race has a specific personality that differs from that of all other races. These differences are brought about by mechanical, physical, chemical, and psychological agents. The changes are brought about slowly. So strong is the force of physical heredity that it takes many generations to evolve into and out of the Roman nose, the potato lip, and the almond eye. Psychological changes move as slowly, if not slower. Look at our religious, medical, and legal superstitions!
Each subdivision of each race is marked by distinguishing characteristics.
Those with a cosmopolitan acquaintance can distinguish the nationality of the people whom they meet in their travels. If their education has been extended to a full familiarity with the inhabitants of any one country, a distinguishing difference will be found in those who have been confined to a limited section of that country.