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Unformatted text preview: e presented to the child's mind in a way he can understand, or else
various ways of energizing him to help in the formation of the habit must be used--praise and blame, reward CHAPTER III. 32 and punishment. Further, these habits are not to be held holy; cleanliness and method are desirable
acquisitions but not so desirable as a feeling of freedom to play and experiment with life and things. If the
child is constantly worried lest he get too dirty, or fears to play in his room because he may disorder it, he is
forming the good habits of cleanliness and method but also the worse one of worry.
In the breaking of a bad habit, its root in desire and difficulty must be discovered. Often enough a man does
not face the source of his trouble, preferring not to. I am not at all sure that it is best in all cases for a man to
know his own weakness; in fact, I feel convinced to the contrary in some cases. But in the majority of
difficulties, self-revelation is salutary and makes an intelligent coping with the situation possible. Here is the
value of the good friend, the respected pastor, the wise doctor. The human being will always need a confessor
and a confidante, and he who is struggling with a habit is in utmost need of such help.
Shall the struggler with a bad habit break it with its thralldom? Shall he say to his chains, "From this time,
nevermore!" To some men it is given to win the victory this way, to rise to the heights of a stubborn resolution
and to be free. But not to many is this possible. To others there is a long history of repeated effort and
repeated failures and then--one day there comes a feeling of power, perhaps through a great love, a great
cause, a sermon heard, a chance sentence, or a bitter experience, and then, like a religious conversion, the
tracks of the old habit are obliterated, never to be used again.
I have in mind two men, both heavy drinkers but differing in everything else. One was a philosopher who saw
the world in that dreadful, clear white light of which Jack London spoke, that light which leaves...
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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.
- Spring '11