A German philosopher cites the case of a man who was noticed carrying a chain, which from time to time he unrolled and manipulated in silence. One day, some one asked him the reason of this. "This chain," he replied smiling, "is my bridle. I am of irritable temperament, anger has often made me do foolish things, which I have deeply regretted. So, I have made it a rule never to obey any emotional impulse without first letting a few moments pass. As soon as any irritating incident rouses in me, I deliberately count the one hundred links of my chain, thus imposing on my mind a tension wholly bent in making no mistakes in my count. This to me is an invaluable diversion. During the operation my nerves calm down, the inward disturbance is appeased, and in the mirror of my mind, now clear, wise resolutions are peacefully reflected."
The philosopher has not told us any more; but we like to think that after a while the bridle was discarded and that he who conquered strength of character by such original means did not need to have recourse to it very long. (D. Starke)
Until next time,