Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sentimental nature

"Somewhere in our adult life, our sentimental nature is killed, strangled, chilled or atrophied by an unkind surrounding, largely through our own fault in neglecting to keep it alive, or our failure to keep clear of such surroundings. In the process of learning "work experience," there is many a violence done to our original nature, when we learn to harden ourselves, to be artificial , and often to be cold-hearted and cruel, so that as one prides oneself upon gaining more and more worldly experience, his nerves become more and more insensitive and benumbed--especially in the world of politics and commerce. As a result, we get the great "go-getter" pushing himself forward to the top and brushing everybody asid; we get the man of iron will and strong determination, with the last embers of sentiment, which he calls foolish idealism or sentimentality, gradually dying out in his breast. It is that sort of person who is beneath my contempt. The world has too many cold-hearted people. If steralization of the unfit should be carried out as a state policy, it should begin with sterilizing the morally insensible, the artistically stale, the heavy of heart, the ruthlessly successful, the cold-heartedly determined and all those people who have lost the sense of fun in life--rather than the insane and the victims of tuberculosis. For it seems to me that whiel a man with passion and sentiment may do many foolish and precipitate things, a man without passion or sentiment is a joke and a caricature."
The Importance of Living, Lin Yutang, p.99

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