The Genuine Man

It is interesting to contemplate a world where each individual, without subterfuge, without casuistry, without prevarication—and also without animus—would, when the necessity arose, say exactly what he thought. In any case, if expressed with no malice or intent to hurt, this should cause no offense. On the contrary, it should be regarded in the nature of a compliment to the good sense of him whom it concerns. That this rarely happens, lies in the fact that men prefer the homage of flattery to the virtue of honesty. Personal sense is offended if it is not approved of or agreed with, and the desire to please more often governs men's speech than the impulse to be true to themselves.

"Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons," observed Peter to Cornelius. He had certainly had countless opportunities for this perceiving in his relations with his great Teacher and Master, Christ Jesus. Before priest and high priest, king and governor, Jesus withheld not the rebuke which hypocrisy and arrogance call forth from genuineness. Only personal sense, acting through pride or obsequiousness, self-importance or sensitiveness, presents a mask which hides or distorts the real; is afraid or resentful of the judgment that uncovers and corrects.

Into the mouth of Othello, Shakespeare puts these words:

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September 11, 1943

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