Apr 19, 2011

Angry reactions to living conscientiously

When a person voluntarily exposes himself to dangers and loss for the sake of a good cause, people reproachfully say, "It is his own fault," and become angry with him. What are they angry about? It is because of the voluntariness, the fact that he is disinterested, that he scorns what they aspire to as the highest. One can hurt a self-loving person in two ways: as a thief, a robber, gossip, et al., one can take away from him his earthly goods, but one can also by disinterestedness and sacrifice take the value away from those goods, those goods which he values as the highest. Men get just as bitter about the one way as the other. It is also a kind of reduction when that which a person regards as supreme and which he possesses is not actually taken from him but is shown to be empty and worthy of disdain.

- Kierkegaard, 1848

No comments:

Post a Comment