As fond as I am of reading, the idea of e-books somehow never appealed to me.
Call me orthodox, but I am the sort of reader who believes in holding a good hardcover in hand, bookmark et al. Reading off the computer / laptop screen is not only tiring for the eyes and back, but also does not give the “feel” if you know what I mean…
However, I recently read an e-book titled Analyzing Character. It was in the Psychology section of Free-eBooks.net and I hit download when I saw the summary talking about how to judge people and what to do about misfits at work, home and society.
(Interested? You can read more here)
Quick details: This book from the collections of Harvard University is authored by Katherine Blackford and Arthur Newcomb. While it delves into physical characteristics and gives several illustrations, what really caught my fancy were the causes of people becoming misfits and virtues to cultivate for becoming efficient. Interesting anecdotes, too. Below is some (edited) stuff I liked…
(I am going to split this big blog series into orderly parts for ease of reading)
Story 1: A wealthy father spent thousands of dollars to make his daughter a musician, but she had no aptitude for music. She was unusually talented in mathematics and finance, but her pleas for a commercial career went unheeded. This same father insisted that his son go into business, though he was keen on a musical career. Not surprisingly, he was a complete failure in business and finally embezzled money from his employer and escaped to Europe to study music. Two human lives of marked talent, completely ruined and wasted, because of a well-intentioned but ignorant and obstinate parent
Story 2: A young law graduate inherited a considerable sum of money. Having no taste for the law and office work, he had never even attempted to begin practice. Having nothing to do, he was discouraged with life and had lost confidence in himself. "I am useless in the world, there is nothing I can do" he said. He was finally encouraged to purchase land and begin the scientific study and practice of horticulture. The last time we saw him, he was erect, ruddy, hard-muscled, and capable looking. Best of all, his old, petulant, dissatisfied expression was gone. In its place was the light of worthy achievement, success, and happiness. He told us there were no finer fruit trees anywhere than his.
These are only 2 of a million incidents. Youths enroll in vocational streams on whims, spend time and money preparing themselves for overcrowded professions they have no aptitude for. A prominent physician said that he trusts only 3 of the 50,000-odd students who graduated from medical school with him.
It would be safe to say that 90% people have entered their present employment blindly, irrespective of their fitness or opportunities. No wonder they hate their job, and often are only average or worse at it. Apart from being ineffective, their talents are wasted.
Albert Einstein said - If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
When one is interested in his work, he overcomes difficulties with delight and rarely finds his work tiresome. Biologically too, the body supports the man who enjoys his work, and makes the unhappy misfit more inefficient.
More to come in the sequels…. Keep watching this space!!