It seems so easy and pleasant to relax in purposes in

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Unformatted text preview: ING MUST happen,--where slavery MUST be abolished, women MUST have votes, children MUST go to school until sixteen, prostitution MUST disappear, alcohol MUST be prohibited, etc. Such people miss the pretty, pleasant relaxing joys of life, but they gain in intensity of life what they lose in diffuseness. This war of the permanent unified purposes versus the temporary scattering desires--the power of inhibition --is involved in the health and vigor of the person. Disease, fatigue and often enough old age show themselves in lowered purpose, in the failure of the will (in the sense of the energy of purpose), in a scattering of activity. Indeed, in the senile states one too often sees the disappearance of moral control where one least expected it. And one of the greatest tragedies of our times occurred when an elderly statesman, on the brink of arterial disease of the brain, lost the strength and firmness of purpose that hitherto had characterized him. One of the worst features of the government of nations is the predominance of old men in the governing bodies. For not only are they apt to have over-intellectualized life, not only have they become spets in purpose and therefore narrow, but the atrophy of the passions and desires of youth and middle life has rendered them unfit to legislate for the bulk of the race, who are the young and middle-aged. It is no true democracy where old age governs the rest of the periods of life. Unification of purpose often goes too far. Men lose sight of the duties they owe to wife and family in their pursuit of wealth or fame; they forget that relaxation and pleasure-seeking are normal and legitimate aims. They deify a purpose; they attach it to themselves so that it becomes more essentially themselves than their religion or their family. They speak of their work as if every letter were capitalized and lose sympathy and interest in the rest of the wide striving world. Men grow hard, even if philanthropists, in too excessive a devotion to a purpo...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.

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