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HOME > Short Stories > The Plain Man and His Wife > 第五小节
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 In choosing a distraction1—that is to say, in choosing a rival to his business—he should select some pursuit whose nature differs as much as possible from the nature of his business, and which will bring into activity another side of his character. If his business is monotonous2, demanding care and solicitude3 rather than irregular intense efforts of the brain, then let his distraction be such as will make a powerful call upon his brain. But if, on the other hand, the course of his business runs in crises that string up the brain to its tightest strain, then let his distraction be a foolish and merry one. Many men fall into the error of assuming that their hobbies must be as dignified4 and serious as their vocations5, though surely the example of the greatest philosophers ought to have taught them better! They seem to imagine that they should continually be improving themselves, in either body or mind. If they take up a sport, it is because the sport may improve their health. And if the hobby is intellectual it must needs be employed to improve their brain. The fact is that their conception of self-improvement is too narrow. In their restricted sense of the phrase, they possibly don’t need improving; they possibly are already improved to the point of being a nuisance to their fellow-creatures; possibly what they need is worsening. In the broad and full sense of the phrase self-improvement, a course of self-worsening might improve them. I have known men—and everybody has known them—who would approach nearer to perfection if they could only acquire a little carelessness, a little absent-mindedness, a little illogicalness, a little irrational6 and infantile gaiety, a little unscrupulousness in the matter of the time of day. These considerations should be weighed before certain hobbies are dismissed as being unworthy of a plain man’s notice.  
Then comes the hour of decision, in which the wise plain man should exert all that force of will for which he is famous in his house. For this hour may be of supreme7 importance—may be the close of one epoch8 in his life and the beginning of another. The more volitional9 energy he can concentrate in it, the more likely is he to succeed in the fine enterprise of his own renaissance10. He must resolve with as much intensity11 of will as he once put into the resolution which sent him to pr............
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