The present chapter will deal with an even more effective means of securing an attitude of industry since it appeals to three of the most fundamental and irresistible of man's instincts.
_With most of us the degree of our laziness or our industry depends partly upon our affinity for the work, but chiefly upon the motives which stimulate us_.
For our ancestors, preservation depended upon their securing the necessary means for food, clothing, and shelter. In the struggle for existence only those individuals and races survived who were able to secure these necessary articles. In climates and regions removed from the tropics only the exceedingly
industrious survived. In warm and fertile lands those who were relatively industrious managed to exist. Because of the absence of the necessity for clothing and because of the abundance of available food, races have developed in the tropics which are notoriously lazy. The human race, individually and collectively, works only where and when it is compelled to.
The energetic races, those which have advanced in civilization, live in lands where the struggle for existence has been continuous. Necessity is a hard master, but its rule is indispensable to worthy achievement. The instinct of self-preservation and the industrious attitude are responses which the human race has learned to exercise, in the main, only in case of need. Self-preservation is the first law; where life and personal liberty are dependent upon industry, idleness will not be found. Wealth removes the obligation to toil; hence the poor boy often outdistances his more favored brother.
Individuals work for pay as a means of
self-preservation, and unless that is satisfactory other motives have but little weight with them. The needs of the self which preservation demands are continuously increasing. The needs of the American-born laborer are greater than those of the Chinaman. Regardless of this higher standard of living and the ever increasing number of ``necessities,'' the instinct of self-preservation acts in connection with them all.
_Almost without exception the interest of workers centers in the wage. If they could retain their accustomed wage with less effort, they would do so. If the retention and increase depend on individual production, they will respond to the compulsion_.
Every student of psychology recognizes the fact that the wage is more than a means of self-preservation. Man is a distinctly social creature. He has a social self as well as an individual self. His social self demands social approval as much as his individual self demands bread, clothing, and shelter. In our present industrial system this social distinc-
tion is most often indicated by means of monetary reward. The laborer not only demands that his toil shall provide the means for self- preservation, but he seeks through his wages the social distinction which he feels to be his due. His desire for increase of wages is often partly, and in some instances mainly, due to his craving for distinction or social approval.
In such instances the wage is to be thought of as something comparable to the score of a ball player. The desire for a high score is sufficient motive to beget the most extreme exertion, even though the reward anticipated is nothing more than a sign of distinction and without any relationship whatever to self- preservation.
In common with some of the lower animals man has an instinct to collect and hoard all sorts of things. This instinct is spoken of in psychology as the hoarding or proprietary instinct. In performing instinctive acts we do so with enthusiasm, but blindly. We take great delight in the performing of the act, even though the ultimate result of the act
may be entirely unknown to us. The squirrel collects and stores nuts with great delight and industry. He has no idea of the approaching winter, but gathers the nuts simply because for him it is the most interesting process in his experience.