Contrawise, we have often seen hard-headed, shrewd, skeptical, grasping, unprincipled, aggressive, fighting men in professions where they did not belong; in professions requiring sympathy, credulity, kindness, tact, generosity, unselfishness, and other such qualities. We have not, in this chapter, outlined all of the different classes of misfits. That would be impossible. We have, however, referred to the most common of them. Probably nine-tenths of all the misfits which have come under our observation could be classified under one or more of the heads we have outlined in the foregoing chapter.
THE PHYSICALLY FRAIL
Some years ago there came into our offices in Boston a young man twenty-six years of age. He was about medium height, with keen, intelligent face, fine skin, fine hair, delicately modeled features, refined looking hands, and small, well-shaped feet.
He was inexpensively, but neatly, dressed, and, while somewhat diffident, was courteous, affable, and respectful in demeanor. After a little conversation with him, we asked him if he would be willing to appear before one of our classes and permit the students to try to analyze him, decide what his aptitudes were, and for what profession he was best fitted. An evening or two later he appeared and we placed him before the class. After some little examination of his appearance, this is the judgment passed upon him by those present:
“Fairly observant; capable of learning well through his powers of observation; good intellect, of the thoughtful, meditative type; a fair degree of constructive ability; in disposition, optimistic, cheerful; inclined to take chances; sympathetic, generous, sensitive, kindly, well disposed, and agreeable; rather lacking in self-confidence and, therefore, somewhat diffident, but courteous and friendly in contact with others; responsive and, therefore, easily influenced by his associates, and affected by his environment. Lacking in sense of justice and property sense. A man of natural refinement and refined tastes; fond of beauty, elegance and luxury. Energetic and alert mentally, but rather disinclined to physical effort. Somewhat deficient in aggressiveness, but endowed with an excellent constructive imagination, and so great mental energy that he would be able to take the initiative in an intellectual way, especially in the formation of plans and in the devising of means and ways. Fond of change, variety; loves excitement; likes social life, and somewhat deficient in constancy, conservatism, prudence, and responsibility. Keen, alert, somewhat impatient and restless. Well fitted by nature for intellectual work of any kind; with training would have done well as teacher, writer, private secretary or high-class clerical worker, but expression indicates that, through lack of training, he has failed in physical work and has fallen into evil ways.”