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Unformatted text preview: of an enemy, so widespread is their sympathy. This is the generous
victor. For the most of us youth is the most joyous period because youth finds in its pleasures a novelty and
freshness that tend to disappear with experience. For the same reason the sorrow of youth, though evanescent,
is unreasoning and intense.
Joy and sorrow are reactions and they are noble or the reverse, according to the nature of the person. Joy may
be noble, sensuous, trivial or mean; many a "jolly" person is such because he has no real sympathy. At the
present time not one of us could rejoice over anything could we SEE and sympathize deeply with the misery
of Europe and China, to say nothing of that in our own country. Nay, any wrong to others would blast all our
pleasure, could we really feel it. Fortunately only a few are so cursed with sympathy. When the capacity for
joyous feeling is joined with fortitude or endurance, then we have the really cheerful, who spread their feeling
everywhere, whom all men love. Where cheerfulness is due to lack of sympathy and understanding, we speak
of a cheerful idiot; and well does that type merit the name. There is a modern cult whose followers sing "La,
la, la" at all times and places, who minimize all misfortune, crime, suffering, who find "good in
everything,"--the "Pollyana" tribe. My objection to them is based on this,--that mankind must see clearly in
order to rid itself of unnecessary suffering. Hiding one's head (and brains) in a desert of optimism merely
perpetuates evil, even though one sufferer here and there is deluded into happiness.
Sorrow may enrich the nature or it may embitter and narrow it. Wisdom may spring from it; indeed, who can
be wise who has not sorrowed? Says Goethe: CHAPTER IX. 78 "Wer nie sein Brot in Thranen ass Wer nie die kummervollen Nachte Auf seinem Bette weinend sass Er weiss
Euch nicht--himmelischen Machte."
The afflicted in their sorrow may turn from self-seeking to God and good deeds. But sorrow may...
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- Spring '11