Archive for October 25th, 2022

The Noble Spirit

GC Myers- The Noble Spirit sm

The Noble Spirit— Coming to Kada Gallery, November 4

In our daily intercourse with men, our nobler faculties are dormant and suffered to rust. None will pay us the compliment to expect nobleness from us. Though we have gold to give, they demand only copper.

–Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

While looking for a few words concerning the noble spirit to kick off this post about the painting at the top, I came across the excerpt above from Thoreau, which set my mind racing.

Would a greater number of us act in a more noble manner if others expected us to do so? Do lowered expectations of others result in their actions– or ours, for that matter– being something less than noble?

Or is it that years of being disappointed by the bad behavior of others has made us cynical, automatically lowering our expectations?

I don’t know. In my experience, I have been sometimes surprised when someone acts with a civil and caring manner or goes out of their way to help me or others.

It bothers me that I am surprised. I want to think the best of people and to find that I now expect so little from them is discouraging.

But, at the same time, a small noble act from another heartens me and gives me hope.

I don’t know where this came from, but I read or heard somewhere that people want to be asked to help, that one of the best ways to befriend someone is to ask them to do a favor for you. The fact that there is something that they can do for another sparks the noble response, giving them a sense of purpose and worth.

It turns out that the favor you are asking is for them as much as it is for you.

So, maybe people will share the gold within themselves if we give them the chance.

Maybe not. I don’t know. I might be way off here. It is stiil very early and I still have night fog in my brain. Come to think of it, I may have read that part about asking a favor of others in my dog-eared copy of The Manipulator’s Handbook.

Even so, it can’t hurt to be less stingy with our inner gold and to ask the same of others.

Amen. Fin. The End.

Now, get off my lawn.

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