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Unformatted text preview: more liable to react excessively and badly to surprise. The tired
soldier has lessened resources in wit and courage when surprised, for fatigue heightens the confusion and
numbness of surprise and decreases the scope of intelligent conduct. Choice is made difficult, and the
neurasthenic doubt is transformed to impotence by surprise.
Face to face with what is recognized as superior to ourselves in a quality we hold to be good, we fall into that
emotional state, a mingling of surprise and pleasure, called admiration. In its original usage, admiration meant
wonder, and there is in all admiration something of that feeling which is born in the presence of the superior.
The more profound the admiration, the greater is the proportion of wonder in the feeling.
We find it difficult to admire where the competitive feeling is strongly aroused, though there are some who
can do so. It is the essence of good sportsmanship, the ideal aimed at, to admire the rival for his good
qualities, though sticking fast to one's confidence in oneself. The English and American athletes, perhaps also
the athletes of other countries, make this part of their code of conduct and so are impelled to act in a way not
entirely sincere. Wherever jealousy or envy are strongly aroused, admiration is impossible, and so it comes
about that men find it easy to praise men in other noncompetitive fields or for qualities in which they are not
competing. Thus an author may strongly admire an athlete or a novelist may praise the historian; a beautiful
woman admires another for her learning, though with some reservation in her praise, and a successful business
man admires the self-sacrificing scientist, albeit there is a little complacency in his approval.
He is truly generous-hearted who can admire his competitor. I do not mean lip-admiration, through the fear of
being held jealous. Many a man joins in the praise of one who has outstripped him, with envy gnawing at his
heart, and waits for the first note of criticism to get out the hammer. "He is very fine--but" is the...
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- Spring '11