Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Scholarly Reasons to Put Yourself First:

Still reading Cooley (I've been slacking, I know....): 

"In every higher kind of production a person needs to understand and believe in himself|the more thoroughly the better. It is precisely that in him which he feels to be worthy and at the same time peculiar|the characteristic|that it is his duty to produce, communicate, and realized; and he cannot possess this, cannot differentiate it, cleanse it from impurities, consolidate and organize it, except through prolonged and interested self-contemplation. Only this can enable him to free himself from the imitative on the one hand and the whimsical on the other, and to stand forth without shame or arrogance for what he truly is- Consequently every productive mind must have intense self-feeling; it must delight to contemplate the characteristic, to gloat over it if you please, and in this way learn to define, arrange, and express it...

Who does not feel at time what Goethe calls the joy of dwelling in one's self, of surrounding himself with the fruits of his own mind, with things he has made, perhaps, books he has chosen, his familiar clothes and possessions of all sorts, with his wife, children, and old friends, and with his own thoughts... At times even conscientious people, perhaps, look kindly at their own faults, deficiencies, and mannerisms, precisely as they would on those of a familiar friend. Without self-love in some such sense as this any solid and genial growth of character and accomplishment is hardly possible...

Self love, Shakespeare says, is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting..." Human Nature and the Social Order, 111-112

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