Monthly Archives: July 2009

“Word Ways” Worth Remembering

A few sentences from a writer I have thought much about. D’Arcy McNickle, having shelved his literary ambitions under financial strain, speaks about the internal crisis ignited in him at his first job, selling automobiles: 

“…I went through a seven months’ daily betrayal of my birthright in opposition. Everything I was called upon to do was a violation of instinct and desire. I continued the effort under the impression that my instincts and desires were untutored and therefore probably in error….I should have learned this: instincts, right or wrong, cannot be abandoned without seriously impairing integrity, out of which rise self-possession, confidence, the very ability to act and think.” (McNickle, journal entry, August 1932)

Shiveringly true. This is the meaning of ‘nature’/’jati’ apprehended in a broad sense. This is why it is said that a good man will do good things while a robber will rob. Each to his/her own. We all must play our roles.

And yet this does not preclude change. Rather, it means that to effect true change, the revolution as it were must come from inside out. The battle of ‘correction’ must be fought inside the self and not on the surface of the body. Only then will the whip really ‘cover the fault.’




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