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Power strength and superiority command admiration

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Unformatted text preview: formula, and either through innuendo, insinuation or direct attack, the "subordinate" statement becomes the most sincere and significant. But there are those who can admire their conqueror, not only through the masochism that lurks in all of us, but because they have lifted their ideal of achievement and character higher than their own possibilities and seek in others the perfection they cannot hope to have in themselves. In other words, where competition is hopeless, in the presence of the greatly superior, a feeling of humility which is really admiration to the point of worship comes over us, and we can glory in the quality we love. To admire is to recede the ego-feeling, is to feel oneself in an ecstasy that becomes mystical, and in that sense the contradiction arises that we feel ourselves larger in a unification with the admired one. Each age, each country, each group and each family set up the objects and qualities for admiration, in a word, the ideals. Out of these the individual selects his specialties in admiration, according to his nature and training. All the world admires vigor, strength, courage and endurance,--and these in their physical aspects. The hero of all times has had these qualities: he is energetic, capable of feats beyond the power of others, is CHAPTER IX. 80 fearless and bears his ills with equanimity. Beauty, especially in the woman, but also in man, has received an over-great share of homage, but here "tastes differ." We have no difficulty in agreement on what constitutes strength, and we have objective tests for its measurement; but who can agree on beauty? What one race prizes as its fairest is scorned by another race. We laugh at the ideal of beauty of the Hottentot, and the physical peculiarity they praise most either disgusts or amuses us. But what is there about a white skin more lovely than a black one, and why thrill over blue eyes and neglect the brown ones? What is the rationale for the admiration of slimness as against stoutness? Indeed, there are races w...
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