One of the chief values of imitation lies in the fact that through it the person's capacity for difficult actions is revealed to himself. He sees others doing great things, he tries and succeeds. The revelation of power in himself is a pleasure, the consciousness of success is a stimulus to repeat the action and make it more perfect. Thus his own strength, skill and versatility are revealed to himself and cultivated in lines he would otherwise deem far beyond his power.
Another value of imitation is well expressed by a French critic of Rousseau's doctrine when he says, 'The deepest springs of action in us is the sight of action in others-The spectacle of effort is what awakens and sustains our own effort. No runner running all alone on a race-track will find in his own will the power of stimulation which his rivalry with other runners incites, when he feels them at his heels, about to pass.'
Imitation is the basis of memory, imagination, thought and emotion, and as there can be no education without the development of these...growth is always by action; he clothes upon himself the scenes of his life and acts them out; so he grows in what he is .