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Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

If we want an open brain and a good, freely working nervous system, we must respect our own freedom and the freedom of other people,—­for only as individuals stand alone can they really influence one another to any good end.

It is curious to see how the men of habitual resistance pride themselves on being in bondage to no one, not knowing that the fear of such bondage is what makes them resist, and the fear of being influenced by another is one of the most painful forms of bondage in which a man can be.

The men who are slaves to this fear do not stop even to consider the question.  They resist and refuse a request at once, for fear that pausing for consideration would open them to the danger of appearing to yield to the will of another.

When we are quite as willing to yield to another as to refuse him, then we are free, and can give any question that is placed before us intelligent consideration, and decide according to our best judgment.  No amount of willfulness can force a man to any action or attitude of mind if he is willing to yield to the willful pressure if it seems to him best.

The worse bondage of man to man is the bondage of fear.

CHAPTER XXII

How to Sew Easily

IT is a common saying that we should let our heads save our heels, but few of us know the depth of it or the freedom and health that can come from obedience to it.

For one thing we get into ruts.  If a woman grows tired sewing she takes it for granted that she must always be tired.  Sometimes she frets and complains, which only adds to her fatigue.

Sometimes she goes on living in a dogged state of overtiredness until there comes a “last straw” which brings on some organic disease, and still another “straw” which kills her altogether.

We, none of us, seem to realize that our heads can save not only our heels, but our hearts, and our lungs, our spines and our brains—­indeed our whole nervous systems.

Men and women sometimes seem to prefer to go on working—­chronically tired—­getting no joy from life whatever, rather than to take the trouble to think enough to gain the habit of working restfully.

Sometimes, to be sure, they are so tired that the little extra exertion of the brain required to learn to get rid of the fatigue seems too much for them.

It seems easier to work in a rut of strain and discomfort than to make the effort to get out of the rut—­even though they know that by doing so they will not only be better themselves, but will do their work better.

Now really the action of the brain which is needed to help one to work restfully is quite distinct from the action which does the work, and a little effort of the brain in a new direction rests and refreshes the part of the brain which is drudging along day after day, and not only that, but when one has gained the habit of working more easily life is happier and more worth while.  If once we could become convinced of that fact it would be a simple matter for the head to learn to save the heels and for the whole body to be more vigorous in consequence.

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