Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   423. PARENTS' FOOLISHNESS   Next Section

PARENTS' FOOLISHNESS.  The grossest errors in judging a person are made by his parents; this is a fact, but how is one to explain it?  Do the parents have too much experience of the child, and can they no longer compose it into a unity?  We notice that travelers in a strange land grasp correctly the common, distinctive traits of a people only in the first period of their stay; the more they get to know a people, the more they forget how to see what is typical and distinctive about it.  As soon as they see up close, they stop being farsighted.  Might parents judge their child wrongly because they have never stood far enough off from him?  A quite different explanation would be the following: men tend to stop thinking about things that are closest to them, and simply accept them.  When parents are required to judge their children, it is perhaps their customary thoughtlessness that makes them judge so mistakenly.  
 

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