Nerves and Common Sense eBook

Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

Something akin to that same attitude of rush we can see in any large city when the clerks come out of the shops, for their luncheon hour, or when the work of the day is over.

If we were to calculate in round numbers the amount of time saved by this rush to get away from the shop, we should find three minutes, probably the maximum—­and if we balance that against the loss to body and mind which is incurred, we should find the three minutes’ gain quite overweighted by the loss of many hours, perhaps days, because of the illness which must be the result of such habitual contraction.

It is safe to predict when we see a woman rushing away from factory or shop that she is not going to “let up” on that rate of speed until she is back again at work.  Indeed, having once started brain and body with such an exaggerated impetus, it is not possible to quiet down without a direct and decided use of the will, and how is that decided action to be taken if the brain is so befogged with the habit of hurry that it knows no better standard?

One of the girls from a large factory came rushing up to the kind, motherly head of the boarding house the other day saying:—­

“It is abominable that I should be kept waiting so long for my dinner.  I have had my first course and here I have been waiting twenty minutes for my dessert.”

The woman addressed looked up quietly to the clock and saw that it was ten minutes past twelve.

" What time did you come in?” she said.  “At twelve o’clock.”

“And you have had your first course?”


“And waited twenty minutes for your dessert?”

“Yes!” (snappishly).

“How can that be when you came in at twelve o’clock, and it is now only ten minutes past?”

Of course there was nothing to say in answer, but whether the girl took it to heart and so raised her standard of quiet one little bit, I do not know.

One can deposit a fearful amount of strain in the brain with only a few moments’ impatience.

I use the word “fearful” advisedly, for when the strain is once deposited it is not easily removed, especially when every day and every moment of every day is adding to the strain.

The strain of hurry makes contractions in brain and body with which it is impossible to work freely and easily or to accomplish as much as might be done without such contractions.

The strain of hurry befogs the brain so that it is impossible for it to expand to an unprejudiced point of view.

The strain of hurry so contracts the whole nervous and muscular systems that the body can take neither the nourishment of food nor of fresh air as it should.

There are many women who work for a living, and women who do not work for a living, who feel hurried from morning until they go to bed at night, and they must, perforce, hurry to sleep and hurry awake.

Often the day seems so full, and one is so pressed for time that it is impossible to get in all there is to do, and yet a little quiet thinking will show that the important things can be easily put into two thirds of the day, and the remaining third is free for rest, or play, or both.

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Nerves and Common Sense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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