Criticism that is solely antagonistic or destructive will never be productive of good. But one should never refrain from the criticism that points out the possibilities of new ways and methods of doing things better than they have been done. In the suggestion I have previously made, concerning coloured curtains or draperies, I should like to modify my statement by saying that anything that would give the desired colour necessary to the restfulness of the eyes would probably prove as effective and might not have to meet with the same objections; but that more colour is needed in our institutions for the treatment of the sick is beyond all question, and I venture to say that the hospital that resorts to both music and colour as an aid in the treatment of the sick, will be more than repaid by the results. I am fully aware that in institutions generally the heads are loth to make any radical change and look with disfavour upon innovations that will in any way tend to disrupt the old order of things. The world is demanding new and better conditions of life, and our hospitals should seek to keep abreast of the times. Many of the greatest medical authorities realise that drug medication has had its day; that the healing of the sick will have to be accomplished by other ways and means. The psychology of the cause and cure of disease has been too much overlooked, and greater attention will have to be paid to it from this on. Surely there must be a thoroughly scientific method both for the prevention and the overcoming of disease, and when such a method is once fully established, then the body of people who are the professors or representatives of that system need have no fear of being displaced by any other system of practice carried on by outsiders. For their own preservation, the medical doctors should not decry or set aside any new effort looking toward a greater advancement for the healing of the sick. As it is at present, the exponents of the art of healing are divided into many camps. Each possessing something that is good, but all lacking any full or complete system or method of healing. Innovations and changes must come, otherwise the present schools must go, because they do not by any means meet the full requirements of the age. The most successful healers, medical or otherwise, will be those who are most alert in their endeavours to seek out new and better ways, who are not content with simply accepting the old order of things, but will also ask that every new way or method shall be tested and proved, so that whatever is false or untrue may be discarded, and only the good remain. Many things may have a partial good that should not be cast aside, because they are more or less incomplete. The system of healing that is yet to come will not cast aside everything that has proven itself to be good in the past; it will only seek to add new good in every possible way, so that eventually the science of healing may be as sure and certain in its results as the other sciences of our day.
I shall not attempt, in this book, to give any list either of vocal or instrumental music to be used for the healing of mind or body. In the chapter on colour healing I pointed out something of the analogy between sound and colour, and I would say here that analogy between music and colour would be safer to follow than any decided contrast between the two; although, in certain cases, I can well understand how environment contrasting with musical sounds might prove of benefit. That, however, would have to be determined through experiment. But where the outer environment can be made to fully harmonise with the music, I think, in a great majority of cases, such conditions would prove the more successful. I believe that in a time to come, far more attention will be given to the prevention of disease than is paid to it at present. It is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, it is also a very wise saying, but not one to which people in general pay much attention. Consequently, the prevention of disease does not occupy the attention of the public mind to the degree it should.
When anyone becomes irritable and easily disturbed mentally, it should be recognised that this shows some loss of vital energy, that something is wrong which should be made right; by this knowledge weeks or even months of sickness might be saved. Nineteen times out of twenty the danger flags that tell of trouble ahead are up, but the individual pays little, if any, attention, and in the end he must pay the price of his heedlessness in sickness and pain. Sometimes, when tired and worn out in mind and body, a person, while not denying himself anything that his physical appetite calls for, will deny himself the pleasure of listening to good music for an hour or two, or of getting away to the park, or the woods, for entire change of thought, because of the time and the expense involved in doing it; frequently later he has to pay the medical doctor many times the price of what might have prevented the sickness in the first place. We are all so constituted that we need a frequent change of thought and a certain amount of relaxation for health of mind and body, and if we are deprived of these, we suffer in consequence. But people are constantly establishing habits which, though they may seem to be good habits, often produce a fixed way of doing or living which gets them into ruts and eventually takes from them the real joy of living. We should keep our minds and bodies as elastic as possible, and this can never be done through a rigid way of thinking and acting. People should remember that stagnation means death, that the real goal set before us is that of constant progress, a continual influx of new ideas and adaptation to them, as well as a continual adjustment and readjustment to our environment. Gladstone was an embodiment of this, and through constant effort toward new thoughts and ideas and their outer application, he was able not only to do great work, but also to retain health and strength of mind and body to an advanced age. The man who is able to introduce something new into his life each day, something of a bright uplifting nature, is not only using a preventive of disease, but is increasing his years on earth.