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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

7-1-2 On the Conduct of Life (Hazlitt's Letter to His Son)

 On the Conduct of Life (Hazlitt's Letter to His Son)

'On the conduct of life' is a letter written by Hazlitt to his son years ago. This letter contains a lot of sensible advice. Hazlitt wished his son to consider life at school as a preparation for later life. He wanted him to cultivate an open mind, to learn how to mix with others and to settle his differences amicably. 
The gist of the letter is as follows :-
1." Always hope for the best." 
2." If things are contrary to your expectations, you should try to change them. If you can not change them, you should learn to put up with them patiently."
3. "Things are not always as you wish to be." 
4." If you anticipate evils, you only make things worse than they are, through mere spite and willfulness. So you should never anticipate evils."
5." It is a bad reasoning to conceive a prejudice against any one only because you know nothing about him.If you do this and think ill of him, soon he will be your enemy."
6."You must not think ill of others until they behave ill to you. Then you should try to avoid fault which you see in them."
7." Never despise anyone at all because such a dislike means a triumph over and pleasure in the ill of others".
8."You must know that there are other people in the world besides you and they have their wishes, liking are disliking. So you must learn to acknowledge their wishes and to tolerate their liking and disliking."    
9."You should not criticize the dress of others, and despise them for it.You have good clothes, but you should not value yourself upon them."
10".You should not criticize or despise people for any thing they cannot help least of all for their poverty."
11."You should also remember that you are one among others and you should never mistake your place in the society. The true equality is the only true morality and true wisdom."
12".You should reconcile to your situations as soon and with as little pain as you can."   

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