A Letter

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A Letter

This letter is addressed to the person who does not exist,

but who could be, as in this world everything is possible.

If you ask me, what distinguishes me from other people, I shall answer: nothing. I am distinguished by nothing from all others living or existing on our planet. But in fact it’s not the truth, as a minimum I am distinguished by modesty, since each person is unique in his own way, everyone has his abilities, there can be even talents. Why have I answered you so? If you are an absolute stranger to me, I do not see any sense to brag to you. If you are a stranger, it is not necessary either as in due course you’ll discover my advantages, but, since you will find them yourself, you will by all means estimate them higher. It does not mean that a person should become reserved, hide his abilities and successes from the associates. I am only for everyone’s remembering that modesty is the best ornament and that it is not necessary to draw attention to yourself once and again, it’s not good manners, to say the least.

Probably, there are things which cannot be seen even in the closest person until he does not open them to you. As, for example, the talent of an artist or a musician. Nobody will know about it until you show your abilities. But it seems to me, that it is not necessary to tell everybody about them, let close people admire you, others only guess about your talents.

I haven’t given you this example for nothing, as modesty is the first step to the skill of supervising feelings and emotions, and this is what I am able to do well. And it seems to me, that each person who wants to achieve success in the society of thise similar to him should learn this. Everyone who wants to operate others should learn to operate himself. He should learn this, as by nature man is a social creature, communication is necessary for him, and in this dialogue, he has got used to express himself through feelings, and there is nothing reprehensible in it. I’m speaking about the ability to control emotions, not denying them by any means. The skill to supervise one’s feelings and emotions, as it seems to me, gives his owner a number of advantages. Feelings and emotions eclipse the person’s reasoning. Under the impact of anything exciting the person is not capable to think of anything logically, he cannot correctly estimate a situation, can hasten with conclusions and in a result make a mistake which he will bitterly regret afterwards. Here it would be in place to say, that life is a severe thing, it does not forgive mistakes, for everything, that the person has made, he will answer to the society, the god, another person, but the main thing - to himself. I’m writing all this to you, not to argue on eternal truths, and to warn and teach, how to live a happy life, human life, which carries before itself a banner of reason, honor and merit. The control I’m speaking about, allows in difficult situation to discharge everything superfluous to the second plan, to clear the brain of unnecessary ideas, to direct all abilities and skills to finding the correct decision and as a result it is possible to handle the given situation, it is possible to solve it to the advantage. Self-possession in a critical situation is the art not given to everybody. But I believe, that having a sincere desire and a doing a permanent work on oneself, almost everyone can learn this.

You can object to me, that sometimes feelings and emotions give the person force to make the important decision of which he is capable only in an impulse. Well, this statement has the right to existence. But any impulse is an instability, and I want to teach you to make decision consciously, as the act of  your will. In this respect, I would not rely on feelings and emotions, I would like to be sure, and the confidence can be given only by reason. I think it’s the most valuable gift of man which distinguishes him from an animal. In this I am not original, in XVIII century, during the Epoch of Education, people considered an intelligent man with a strong character to be an ideal. The famous french thinker Rene Descartes wrote, that the world around can be learnt only by means of reason, and that with its help the person gets clearness, consistency of operations of thinking.

One more important advantage which the control over feelings and emotions gives is that it tempers character. I would even tell that it gives superiority over other people. The person having this ability will look at everything trivial as if from some height. Nothing can wound him, especially destroy, he will be impregnable for those who want to harm him. From this height inaccessible to other people, with a firm character and ice heart, he can pass any prtdicaments, dulling for himself pain and sufferings. He can learn happiness among people and at the samw time, keep away from wordly passions. Forces, necessary for this purpose and hiding deeply in the soul of each man, cannot be exempted because of feelings and emotions which drive people into frameworks, make them similar, identical. You will say  that I am a lunatic, that freedom has always been associated with the soul of the person, with his feelings, instead of reason. Well, in this letter to you I present a different point of view.

I saw many people who don’t behave naturally in public, they want to be liked by their associates, to cause approval on their side, and it is understandable, but how do they do it? They pretend to be having fun, when they are gloomy, to agree, when they disagree, they follow the majority, and even understanding it, they agree to pay such a price and for what? For merging with this grey mass, feeling oneself its part, and in the result for receiving the most important thing for them - safety. Well, maybe, this is their happiness, and, as it is said, everyone can live as he likes.  They will probably even accuse me of weakness and will offer their own view of this question, will give arguments for their protection. I personally think that each point of view has the right to life, but you, as an extraneous expert, will attentively study my reasons before accepting this or another side.

I’ve been thinking of it for a long time, and have come to the conclusion that in the basis of such behaviour there is fear of loneliness and need for respect, love and compassion. And I realize it, such is human nature. At first, man’s reason is weak, it’s easier for him to feel, than to think and many give in to these feelings, live in fear and consider, that they are happy. They forget what for they came to this world. My purpose is development, constant self-improvement and eternal struggle in the protest to humility. Let the others float with the current, denying reason, giving in to their uncontrolled feelings and merging into uniform mass. It is certainly more easy, but I want to show you another world, the world of reason, happiness and real freedom. As I have told a little bit earlier, the ability to supervise feelings and emotions makes character stronger, gives confidence and force. It is natural for man to be afraid, but this control gives the reliable protection which allows to win fear, to feel free from it. With this knowledge now I am extremely hard to offend, and it is practically impossible to hurt me. As I have understood, that the love of all world is not necessary for me, love of one person suffices. I do not want to be hidden behind the backs of the whole army of friends, I am glad, that I have a real friend who I can rely on in a difficult minute. It is difficult to surprise me by something, as I have understood, that in this world everything is possible. I never celebrate my victories, but at the same time I bear defeats with ease. And, at last, I have never burnt with earthly love and therefore hatred is uknown to me. That is why I am free, that is why I am happy.

Feelings and emotions is one more gift which distinguishes man from an animal. It is the finest thing and boundless force which charm can be learnt, only by limiting it. As well as any force, it is necessary to supervise and direct it, for it to carry kindness but not destruction. The soul of the person and his reason cannot be compared, as it is impossible to compare two universes. They are so huge and difficult, that are incomprehensible even for the person. They, as two parts of a single whole cannot be shared, but as it seems to me, they can and should be in hierarchical dependence: reason will subordinate to itself feelings and emotions.

On you, my friend, I do not want to impose my ideas, my point of view is likely to be an extreme and, as any extreme, it is abnormal. As it is difficult for me to find words to explain it to you more clearly. As it is said, what is understood by one is impossible to explain to another. But perhaps, having read it, you will find something close and, in any case my letter will set you thinking, and it is the most useful occupation in our life.

 

Denis Mikhnic,

Kharkiv Market Economy and Management Institute,

3rd year

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