Earnestness means willingness to live with energy, though energy bring pain. The pain may be pain to other people or pain to one's self — it makes little difference. for when the strenuous mood is on one, the aim is to break something, no matter whose or what. Nothing annihilates an inhibition as irresistibly as anger does it. for, as Moltke says of war, destruction pure and simple is its essence. This is what makes it so invaluable an ally of every other passion. The sweetest delights are trampled on with a ferocious pleasure the moment they offer themselves as checks to a cause by which our higher indignations are elicited. It costs then nothing to drop friendships, to renounce long-rooted privileges and possessions, to break with social ties. Rather do we take a stern joy in the astringency and desolation. and what is called weakness of character seems in most cases to consist of the inaptitude for these sacrificial moods, of which one's own inferior self and its pet softnesses must often be the targets and the victims.
Rating 4.53 em 5(17 Votes)
Author: William James