He who works merely to get rich or powerful or to

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Unformatted text preview: ere are many. But only occasionally does one find a man who organizes his life efforts to be beautiful, who establishes criteria of success or failure on complexion, hair, features of face and lines of figure. So long, therefore, as woman can obtain power through beauty and sex appeal, so long may we expect a trivial trend in her character. We have lost track of our hypothetical child in the history of his character development, lost sight of him as he struggles in a morass of desires and purposes of power, fellowship and superiority. His situations become still more complex as we watch him seek to unify his life around permanent purposes, against a pestering, surging, recurring, temporary desire. He desires, let us say, to conform to the restriction in sex, but as he approaches adolescence, within and without stimuli of breathless ardor assail him. He must inhibit them if he proposes to be chaste, and his continent road is beset with never-resting temptations. He calls himself a fool at times for resisting, and his mind pictures the delights he misses--if not from direct experience, from information he gathers in books and from those who know--and if he yields, then self-reproach embitters him. But correctly to portray the situation is to drop our hypothetical adolescent, for here is where individual reaction and individual situations are too varied to be met with in one case. Some do not inhibit their sex desires at all; others resist now and then, others yield occasionally; still others remain faithful to the ideal. Some drop the conventional ideal and replace with unconventional substitutes, some resist at great cost to themselves, and others find no difficulty in resisting what is no temptation at all to them. Passion, resistance, opportunity, training and sublimation differ as remarkably as nuns differ from prostitutes. A similar situation is found in the work purposes. To work steadily, with industry and unflagging effort, at something perhaps not inherently attractive is not merely a measure of energy,--it is a measure of inhibition and will...
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