Manners And Disposition





Habit can modify nature so much as to make what is practically another

man. We all know how the dancing master can transform a country gawk

into a refined, courteous society man (not gentleman, for that is

something else) of graceful carriage and even handsome bearing. He

cannot do this for all the pupils that come to him, for it is

impossible to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but for anyone

that comes with good will the revolution in manners is often a

revelation to those who have known the man before. When the exterior

can be changed so much, the interior attitude toward other people

certainly can be greatly modified.



Persons of a melancholic disposition may be surprisingly cheerful, and

even gay, with comparative strangers when they make the effort to be

so. For many people, meeting with strangers is an excellent remedial

measure. It stirs them up to present the best side, and it occupies

attention to the exclusion of themselves in a way that is extremely

beneficial. If people would only form the habit of being as courteous

to their own folks as they are to others, the disposition involved in

this would often save them from certain symptoms, and save their

physicians from many complaints.







Happiness is the basis of good health. The phrase is often put the

other way: Good health is the basis of happiness. Without health there

is no happiness. But every physician knows that many a patient

suffering from real organic ills, and having much physical pain to

bear, still has many hours of happiness in working for others. This

happiness reflected back upon his physical life is not able to cure

his ailments, but does so lessen the significance of the symptoms as

to make the ailment more bearable.





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