MANY have had the experience of waking to the fact that some quality with which they had long been habited was not what they had thought it. Self-pity, for example, has often seemed to be proper enough, until some fortunate experience has shown us that a habit of homespun service is more becoming and far more desirable. Perhaps no garment is more deceptive in its weft and harder to lay off than the haircloth shirt of self-condemnation, "the spirit of heaviness" worn when one should and could have been wearing the beautiful "garment of praise." Our accustomed thoughts are like a dress or habit; they go to make up the outward appearance which we wear in the sight of our fellow men.

In defining "habit" in its various usages, according to a dictionary, it implies a settled disposition or tendency leading one to do easily, naturally, and with growing skill or certainty what one does often. Where bad habits are concerned, what warning lies in these words! To think wrongly often—to condemn one's self often, often to pity or depreciate one's self—leads to doing it with growing ease and certainty. And the unhappiness of it for one's self and others! If, however, these habits of thought are dealt with in the merely negative way of repression, or by substituting others in which we still regard self as of the same basically imperfect nature, we do not gain that true happiness and wholesomeness for which humanity longs.

"And he . . . saw every man clearly"
October 22, 1932

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