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Pity tends to disappear from the life of the soldier

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Unformatted text preview: er, that's heterosexual; if he loves his father, that's homosexual; and the love of a girl child for her parents simply reverses the above formula. If your wife says of the baby boy, "How I love him! He looks just like my father," be careful; that's a daughter-father complex of a dangerous kind and means the most unhallowed things, and may cause her to have a nervous breakdown some day! Love, then, is this tender feeling made purposive and intelligent. It is a sentiment, in Shand's phrase, and seeks the good of its object. It may be narrow, it may be broad, it may be intense or feeble, but in its organized sense it plans, fights and cherishes. It has organized with it the primary emotions,--fear if the object is in danger, or anger is evoked according to the circumstances; joy if the object of love is enhanced or prospers; sorrow if it is lost or injured under circumstances that make the lover helpless. Love is not only the tenderest feeling, but it is also the most heroic and desperate fighter in behalf of the loved one. Here we are face to face with the contradictions that we always meet when we personify a quality or make an abstraction. Love may do the most hateful things; love may stunt, the character of the lover and the beloved. In other words, love, tender feeling, must be conjoined with intelligence, good judgment, determination and fairness before it is useful. It would be a nice question to determine just how much harm misguided love has done. What is pity? Though objects of love always elicit pity, when helpless or injured, objects of pity are not CHAPTER VIII. 63 necessarily objects of love. In fact, we may pity through contempt. Objective pity is a type of tender feeling in which there is little or no self-feeling. We do not extend the ego to the piteous object. We desire to help, even though the object of pity is an enemy or disgusting. One of the commonest struggles of life is that between self-interest and pity,--and the selfish resent any situation that arouses their pity, because they dislike to give. Pity tends to disappear from th...
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