• Maturity is achieved when a person accepts life as full of tension

    Joshua Loth Liebman
  • We are afraid of what we will do to others, afraid of the rage that lies in wait somewhere deep in our souls. How many human beings go through the world frozen with rage against life! This deeply hidden inner anger may be the product of hurt pride or of real frustration in office, factory, clinic, or home. Whatever may be the cause of our frozen rage (which is the inevitable mother of depression), the great word of hope today is that this rage can be conquered and drained off into creative channels ……What should we do? We should all learn that a certain amount of aggressive energy is normal and certainly manageable in maturity. Most of us can drain off the excess of our angry feelings and destructive impulses in exercise, in competitive games, or in the vigorous battles against the evils of nature and society. We also must realize that no one will punish us for the legitimate expression of self-assertiveness and creative pugnacity as our parents once punished us for our undisciplined temper tantrums. Furthermore, let us remember that we need not totally repress the angry part of our nature. We can always give it an outlet in the safe realm of fantasy. A classic example of such fantasy is given by Max Beerborn, who made a practice of concocting imaginary letters to people he hated. Sometimes he went so far as to actually write the letters and in the very process of releasing his anger it evaporated. As mature men and women we should regard our minds as a true democracy where all kinds of ideas and emotions should be given freedom of speech. If in political life we are willing to grant civil liberties to all sorts of parties and programs, should we not be equally willing to grant civil liberties to our innermost thoughts and drives, confident that the more dangerous of them will be outvoted by the majority within our minds? Do I mean that we should hit out at our enemy whenever the mood strikes us? No, I repeat that I am suggesting quite the reverse—self-control in action based upon (positive coping mechanisms such as) self expression in fantasy

    Joshua Loth Liebman
  • Tolerance, which is one form of love of neighbor, must manifest itself not only in our personal relations, but also in the arena of society as well. In the world of opinion and politics, tolerance is that virtue by which liberated minds conquer the evils of bigotry and hatred. Tolerance implies more than forbearance or the passive enduring of ideas different from our own. Properly conceived, tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them. Tolerance quickens our appreciation and increases our respect for our neighbor’s point of view. It goes even further; it assumes a militant aspect when the rights of an opponent are assailed. Voltaire’s dictum, “I do not agree with a word that you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,

    Joshua Loth Liebman
  • A love of neighbor manifests itself in the tolerance not only of opinions of others but, what is more important, of the essence and uniqueness of others, when we subscribe to that religious philosophy of life that insists that God has made each man and woman an individual sacred personality endowed with a specific temperament, created with differing needs, hungers, dreams. This is a variegated, pluralistic world where no two stars are the same and every snowflake has its own distinctive pattern. God apparently did not want a regimented world of sameness. That is why creation is so manifold. So it is with us human beings. Some are born dynamic and restless; others placid and contemplative…One man’s temperament is full throated with laughter; another’s tinkles with the sad chimes of gentle melancholy. Our physiques are different, and that simple difference oftentimes drives us into conflicting fulfillment of our natures, to action or to thought, to passion or to denial, to conquest or to submission. There is here no fatalism of endowment. We can change and prune and shape the hedges of our being, but we must rebel against the sharp shears being wielded by other hands, cutting off the living branches of our spirits in order to make our personalities adornments for their dwellings

    Joshua Loth Liebman
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