Reaction Proportioned To Stimuli

In the normal mind the emotional or feeling accompaniment of thought and

action is proportionate and adequate to the circumstances, i. e.,

there is a certain feeling, of a certain strength, natural to every

thought and act; and when only that strength, not more or less,

accompanies the thought or the act, we say, "That man is emotionally

stable. His mind is normally balanced."

Joy naturally follows some s
imuli; sorrow others. Disappointment or

loss, shock, failure, death of loved ones, illness in ourselves or

others, do not normally bring joy. A keen sense of suffering,

temporarily, perhaps, of numbness; the inability to grasp the calamity;

or flowing tears, an aching heart, or the stress of willed endurance,

are natural, and normal reactions to such stimuli.

A developed will may refuse indulgence in the outward expression of the

normal feeling of shock, grief, and loss; and this may be normal. But

normal volition does not force us to laugh and dance and be wildly merry

in the face of grief and loss and pain. It only suggests the adequate,

reasonable acceptance of the facts that cannot be changed--the

acceptance of love, faith, and hope that sees in present suffering a

means of consecration to service; it does not convert the emotion of

sorrow and loss into a pleasurable one. Normal reason does not suggest

that will force the reactions to loss and suffering that belong by

nature to attainment and success.

Nor does reason suggest the long face, the bitter tears, a storm of

anger, in response to comedy and farce, in the face of a good joke, or

to meet success; and normal will puts reason's counsel into effect.