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There is a special quality which we will do well to develop during this particular period in which we live, and that is calmness. For wherever we turn our gaze, we perceive great upheavals of thought and emotion, great stirring of violent passion and bitter hatred, mass excitement and mob restlessness. In such a disturbed atmosphere we are liable to be swept off our feet against our better judgement and may thus injure the true interests of ourselves or of our country. We should remember that to keep a cool head is the way to act wisely and successfully, whereas to yield to hot impulsiveness is to act rashly and often wrongly. We should also remember how the unfortunate younger folk of Germany were cunningly swept into the Nazi current of blind impulses and became the bomb-fodder for the insatiable ambitions of a hysterical maniac like Hitler. Let this be a lesson on the need and value of calm judgement and levelheadedness.

We may also draw a further lesson from Germany, that is, the importance of practising goodwill to all. The continent of Europe could never have arrived at the present unhappy condition of its people had it realized this virtue. The more we try to be kindly and helpful to others, no matter what class or creed they belong to, the more others are kindly and helpful to us. Therefore, even from the purely selfish point of view it pays good dividends to practise goodwill. Moreover, it will help us as much as anything else to get on in life, for it will bring friends, gratitude, and even opportunities.

-- Notebooks Category 6: Emotions and Ethics > Chapter 3: Discipline Emotions > # 5

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