California And The Californians By David Starr Jordan

 -  To children the conditions of life are particularly
favorable. California could have no better advertisement at some world's
fair than - Page 5
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To Children The Conditions Of Life Are Particularly Favorable.

California could have no better advertisement at some world's fair than a visible demonstration of this fact.

A series of measurements of the children of Oakland has recently been taken, in the interest of comparative child study; and should the average of these from different ages be worked into a series of models from Eastern cities, the result would surprise. The children of California, other things being equal, are larger, stronger and better formed than their Eastern cousins of the same age. This advantage of development lasts, unless cigarettes, late hours, or grosser forms of dissipation come in to destroy it. A wholesome, sober, out-of-door life in California invariably means a vigorous maturity.

A third element of charm in California is that of personal freedom. The dominant note in the social development of the state is individualism, with all that it implies of good or evil. Man is man in California: he exists for his own sake, not as part of a social organism. He is, in a sense, superior to society. In the first place, it is not his society; he came from some other region on his own business. Most likely, he did not intend to stay; but, having summered and wintered in California, he has become a Californian, and now he is not contented anywhere else. Life on the coast has, for him, something of the joyous irresponsibility of a picnic. The feeling of children released from school remains with the grown people.

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