Quotation by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr:
Every person's feelings have a front-door and a side-door by which they may be entered. The front door is on the street. Some keep it always open; some keep it latched; some locked; some bolted,-- with a chain that will let you peep in, but not get in; and some nail it up, so that nothing can pass its threshold. This front door leads into a passage which opens into an ante-room, and this into the interior apartments. The side door opens at once into the sacred chambers.
There is always at least one key to this side-door. This is carried for years, hidden in a mother's bosom. Father, brothers, sisters, and friends, often, but by no means so universally, have duplicates of it. The wedding ring conveys a right to one; alas, if none is given with it!
If nature or accident has put one of these keys into the hands of a person who has the torturing instinct, I can only solemnly pronounce the words that Justice utters over its doomed victim,-- The lord have mercy on your soul! You will probably go mad within a reasonable time,... run off and die with your head on a curb-stone,--- ...or quarrel and break your heart and turn into a pale, jointed petrifaction that moves about as if it were alive, or play some real life tragedy or other.
Be very careful to whom you trust one of these keys of the side door. The fact of possessing one renders those even who are dear to you very terrible at times. You can keep the world out from your front door, or receive visitors only when you are ready for them; but those of your own flesh and blood, or of certain grades of intimacy, can come in at the side door, if they will, at any hour and in any mood. Some of them have a scope of your whole nervous system, and can play all the gamut of your sensibilities in semi-tones,-- touching the naked nerve pulps as a pianist strikes the keys of his instrument. I am satisfied that there are as great masters of this nerve playing as Vieuxtemps or Thalberg in their lines of performance. Married life is the school in which the most accomplished artists in this department are found. A delicate woman is the best instrument; she has such a magnificent compass of sensibilities! From the deep inward moan which follows pressure on the great nerves of the right, to the sharp cry as the filaments of taste are struck with a crashing sweep, is a range which no other instrument possesses. A few exercises on it daily at home fit a man wonderfully for his habitual labors, and refresh him immensely as he returns from them. No stranger can get a great many notes of torture out of a human soul; it takes one that knows it well,-- parent, child, brother, sister, intimate. Be very careful to whom you give a side door key; too many have them already.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
(more by this author)
Source: THE AUTOCRAT OF THE BREAKFAST TABLE
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
Rob Kall Wikipedia Page
Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
Rob is, with (more...)
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.