Moral lessons in 1932

Last weekend, as I was visiting the new house of my parents, I discovered in the attic a stack of old books and notebooks from the thirties that were left behind by the previous owner. There were well conserved school books on subjects like physics, mathematics, French litterature, English and other “normal” subjects as well as more surprising subjects like farming. Accompanying these were some notebooks written in a nice handwritting of the type I stopped using when I was 12 y/o. All except one dated from 1932.
Amongst these notebooks, I found one that particularly attracted my attention because of the nature of its subject: Moral. I took it downstairs and read through it. I found some good wisdom, interesting ideas and even an edgy warning representing ideas of that time. I took some notes and I thought it might be cool to share them with you. I will translate the best I can.

There is some good wisdom:

Will is the power that allows us to get into action – “La volonte est la puissance qui nous permet de passer a l’action”

Moral is the science of good conduct. It teaches to separate good from evil and recognize duty in all occasion – “La morale est la science de la bonne conduite. Elle apprend a discerner le bien du mal et a reconnaitre le devoir en toute occasion”

Conscience is a fair judge but not always a good adviser – “La conscience est un juge integre mais pas toujours un bon conseiller”

Some funny (but maybe true) statements:

Only lazy people or ignorant people know boredom – “Seul les paresseux et les ignorants connaissent l’ennui”

The lazy person is unhappy and sick – “Le paresseux est malheureux et malade”

The single-child family is incomplete. The single child is insufferable and unhappy. – “La famille a enfant unique est incomplete. L’enfant unique est insupportable et malheureux.”

And the pearl, the “echo of the time” statement for which I am not assuming any responsibility:

France, country of singles and single childs, becomes depopulated and is going straight to its death. In thirty years, the German population will be triple ours. The riskiness must be stopped. – “La France, pays de celibataires et de fils uniques se depeuple et marche a la mort. Dans trente ans, la population Allemande sera le triple de la notre. Il faut conjugerer le peril.”

Interesting! Funny! Isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Moral lessons in 1932

  1. Well, in some kind of way they was right because 10 years later France was a part of deutchland. So the german population clearly goes up in the forties.^^

  2. Thanks for sharing a bit of history. What people thought, their views on the world, their perspective on what is happening in their country, their town, are all so intriguing.

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