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Some are so constituted that they need the approval

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Unformatted text preview: or love and possession, if it is a well-centralized goal toward which our main energies are bent, and then seems suddenly impossible to reach, there is a corresponding paralysis of energy. Here is where a great difference is seen between individuals and between one time of life and another. There are some to whom hope is a shining beacon light never absent; whatever happens, hope remains, like the beautiful fable of Pandora's box. There are others to whom any obstruction, any discouraging feature, blots out hope, and who constantly need the energy of others; their persuasions and exhortations, for a renewal of energy. Here, as elsewhere in life, some are givers and others takers of energy. In the presence of the hopeless it is hard to maintain one's own feeling of energy and that is why the average man shuns them. He guards as priceless his own enthusiasm. Curiously enough, when energy tends to disappear in the face of disaster to one's plans, a tonic is often enough the reflection, "it might have been worse" or "there are others worse off."[1] Though one rebels against the encouraging effect of the last statement, it does console, it does renew hope. For hope and energy and desire are competitive, as is every other measure of value. So long as one is not the worst off, then there is something left, there is a hopeful element in the situation. Similarly a certain rough treatment helps, as when Job is told practically, "After all, who is Man that he should ask for the fulfillment of his hopes?" A sense of littleness with the rest of the race acts to bring resignation, and after that has been established, hope can reappear. For resignation is rarely a prolonged state of mind; it is a doorway through which we reenter into the vista-chambers of Hope. [1] A humorous use of this fact is in the popular "Cheer up, the worst is yet to come!" This acts as a rough tonic. And one clearly sees the benefit of a belief, a faith in God. "Gott in sein Mizpah ist gerecht," cries the orthodox Jew when his hope is shattered,--"God's decree is ju...
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