Developing Mental & Physical Fitness | Motivational Podcasts

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Let’s move on now to today’s reading, which has been edited and adapted from Assuming Responsibilities by Douglas Fairbanks, published in 1918.

Those who fear to assume responsibility necessarily take orders from others. The punishment fits the crime perfectly, and being self-inflicted there is no injustice. Many men and women possessed of great brain power play “second fiddle” to shallow-minded persons of inferior wisdom from sheer lack of forcefulness on their own part. They lack the full quality of leadership while possessing all attributes, save one essential — courage.

Fear abides in their hearts and spreads itself as a mantle of gloom over their anxious souls until finally they struggle no more. Henceforth, they are doomed and become the subject of apology on the part of friends and relations.

A disinterested listener, however, is seldom taken into camp by such apologies. They know that the person needs some sort of swift kick that will stir their combativeness into action — that will cause them to turn upon their mental inferior side and have it out, once and for all.

As a courage builder, fighting for justice is not to be sneezed at. Courage can be built up just the same as any other soul quality. It is all a matter of early training as to which one we start out with — courage or fear. Unthinking parents have a lot to do with the propagation of fear in the hearts of children. A neglectful father plus a fear-stricken mother constitute the most logical forces which tend toward the over-development of fear in a child.

Once the seed is thoroughly implanted, the growth can be depended upon. How to get rid of it later is not so easy to figure out. Had the child been born with a “club-foot” these same parents would have spent their last dollar in an effort to straighten it into natural condition. They could see the unshapely foot day by day with their own eyes — and so could their neighbors. But the anxious little brain struggling for courage with which to combat its weakness must battle alone with chances largely against it.

The mere thought of what is in store for a little one, as it stumbles along from one period to another, fearful of this, and fearful of that, is disconcerting to say the least. We can almost trace our anxious friends directly back to such a childhood. We can almost hear their fond mother shout, “Keep away from the brook, darling, you might get your feet wet and catch a death of a cold.”

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