Zitate von Sydney J. Harris

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Sydney J. Harris

Geburtstag: 14. September 1917
Todesdatum: 8. Dezember 1986

Sydney J. Harris was an American journalist for the Chicago Daily News and, later, the Chicago Sun-Times. He wrote 11 books and his weekday column, “Strictly Personal,” was syndicated in approximately 200 newspapers throughout the United States and Canada. Wikipedia

Zitate Sydney J. Harris

„Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

„The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

„Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“What’s Wrong with Being Proud?”
Pieces of Eight (1982)
Kontext: Patriotism is proud of a country’s virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.

„Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: Character is something you forge for yourself; temperament is something you are born with and can only slightly modify. Some people have easy temperaments and weak characters; others have difficult temperaments and strong characters.
We are all prone to confuse the two in assessing people we associate with. Those with easy temperaments and weak characters are more likable than admirable; those with difficult temperaments and strong characters are more admirable than likable. Of course, the optimum for a person is to possess both an easy temperament and a strong character, but this is a rare combination, and few of us are that lucky. The people who get things done tend to be prickly, and the people we enjoy being with tend to be accepting, and there seems to be no way to get around this. Obviously, there are many combinations of character and temperament, in varying degrees, so that this is only a rough generalization — but I think it is one worth remembering when we make personal judgments.

„All the fearful counterfeits of love — possessiveness, lust, vanity, jealousy — are closer to hate: they concentrate on the object, guard it, suck it dry.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

"Love and Its Loveless Counterfeits"
Strictly Personal (1953)
Kontext: The principal difference between love and hate is that love is an irradiation, and hate is a concentration. Love makes everything lovely; hate concentrates itself on the object of its hatred. All the fearful counterfeits of love — possessiveness, lust, vanity, jealousy — are closer to hate: they concentrate on the object, guard it, suck it dry.

„A general practitioner is a doctor who treats what you've got; a specialist is a doctor who finds you've got what he treats.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

Pieces of Eight (1982)
Kontext: A general practitioner is a doctor who treats what you've got; a specialist is a doctor who finds you've got what he treats.<!-- p. 90 http://books.google.com/books?id=NzNpn-cojqYC&q=%22A+general+practitioner+is+a+doctor+who+treats+what+you%27ve+got+a+specialist+is+a+doctor+who+finds+you%27ve+got+what+he+treats%22&pg=PA90#v=onepage

„In shape, it is perfectly elliptical. In texture, it is smooth and lustrous.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Tribute to an Egg” in Majority of One (1957)
Kontext: In shape, it is perfectly elliptical. In texture, it is smooth and lustrous. In color, it ranges from pale alabaster to warm terra cotta. And in taste, it outstrips all the lush pomegranates that Swinburne was so fond of sinking his lyrical teeth into.

„Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Atheists, Like Fundamentalists, are Dogmatic”
Pieces of Eight (1982)
Kontext: Agnosticism is a perfectly respectable and tenable philosophical position; it is not dogmatic and makes no pronouncements about the ultimate truths of the universe. It remains open to evidence and persuasion; lacking faith, it nevertheless does not deride faith. Atheism, on the other hand, is as unyielding and dogmatic about religious belief as true believers are about heathens. It tries to use reason to demolish a structure that is not built upon reason; because, though rational argument may take us to the edge of belief, we require a "leap of faith" to jump the chasm.

„There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

„Otherwise you are not educated; you are merely trained.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

Pieces of Eight (1982)
Kontext: The most worthwhile form of education is the kind that puts the educator inside you, as it were, so that the appetite for learning persists long after the external pressure for grades and degrees has vanished. Otherwise you are not educated; you are merely trained.

„The principal difference between love and hate is that love is an irradiation, and hate is a concentration.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

"Love and Its Loveless Counterfeits"
Strictly Personal (1953)
Kontext: The principal difference between love and hate is that love is an irradiation, and hate is a concentration. Love makes everything lovely; hate concentrates itself on the object of its hatred. All the fearful counterfeits of love — possessiveness, lust, vanity, jealousy — are closer to hate: they concentrate on the object, guard it, suck it dry.

„Usually, if we hate, it is the shadow of the person that we hate, rather than the substance.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

"Hate Is Rarely a Personal Matter"
The Best of Sydney J. Harris (1975)
Kontext: Usually, if we hate, it is the shadow of the person that we hate, rather than the substance. We may hate a person because he reminds us of someone we feared and disliked when younger; or because we see in him some gross caricature of what we find repugnant in ourself; or because he symbolizes an attitude that seems to threaten us.

„The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament.“

—  Sydney J. Harris

“Confusing ‘Character’ with ‘Temperament’”
Clearing the Ground (1986)
Kontext: The core in the mystery of what we call personality resides in the individual mix between character and temperament. The most successful personalities are those who achieve the best balance between the strict demands of character and the lenient tolerance of temperament. This balance is the supreme test of genuine leadership, separating the savior from the fanatic.
The human Jesus is, to my mind, the ultimate paradigm of such psychic equilibrium. He was absolutely hard on himself and absolutely tender toward others. He maintained the highest criteria of conduct for himself but was not priggish or censorious or self-righteous about those who were weaker and frailer. Most persons of strength cannot accept or tolerate weakness in others. They are blind to the virtues they do not possess themselves and are fiercely judgmental on one scale of values alone. Jesus was unique, even among religious leaders, in combining the utmost of principle with the utmost of compassion for those unable to meet his standards.
We need to understand temperament better than we do and to recognize its symbiotic relationship to character. There are some things people can do to change and some things they cannot do — character can be formed, but temperament is given. And the strong who cannot bend are just as much to be pitied as the weak who cannot stiffen.

„When I hear somebody sigh that "Life is hard," I am always tempted to ask, "Compared to what?"“

—  Sydney J. Harris

"Purely Personal Prejudices" http://books.google.com/books?id=DLcEAQAAIAAJ&q=%22When+I+hear+somebody+sigh+that+Life+is+hard+I+am+always+tempted+to+ask+Compared+to+what%22&pg=PA241#v=onepage
Strictly Personal (1953)

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