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Chapter xii the methods of purpose work characters

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Unformatted text preview: dream. The artist says, "Beauty is the reality"; the miser says, "Cash"; the sentimentalist answers, "None of this but Love"; and the philosopher, aloof from all these, defines reality as "Truth." And the skeptic asks, "What is Truth?" We gain nothing by saying a man must adjust himself to reality; we say something definite when we say he must adjust his wishes to his abilities, to the opposing wills, wisher, and abilities of others; to the needs of his family and his country; to disease, old age and death; to the flux of the river of life. In the quickness of adjustment we have a great character factor; in the farsightedness of adjustment (foreseeing, planning) we have another. Does a man take his difficulties with courage and good cheer does he make the "best of it" or is he plunged into doubt and indecision by obstacles or complications? Is he calm, cool, collected, well poised, in that he watches and works without too much emotion and maintains self-feeling against adversity? We say a man is self-reliant when he finds in himself resources against obstacles and does not call on his neighbors for help. We would do well to extend the term to the one whose fund of courage, hope, energy and resource springs largely from within himself; who resists the forces that reduce courage, hope and energy. A higher sort of man not only supplies himself with the energetic factors of character, but he inspires, as we say, others; he is a sort of bank of these qualities, with high reserves which he gives to others. Contrast him with those whose cry constantly is "Help, help." Charming they may be as ornaments, but they deplete the treasury of life for their associates and are only of value as they call out the altruism of others. There is no formula for adjustment. Intelligence, insight into one's powers and capacities, caution, boldness, compromise, firmness, aggressiveness, tact,--these and a dozen other traits and qualities come into play. It is a favorite teaching of optimistic sentimentalists, "Will c...
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