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Transitoriness Of Certain Interests

Since our interests are always connected with our activities it follows
that many interests will have their birth, grow to full strength, and
then fade away as the corresponding instincts which are responsible for
the activities pass through these same stages. This only means that
interest in play develops at the time when the play activities are
seeking expression; that interest in the opposite sex becomes strong
when instinctive tendencies are directing the attention to the choice of
a mate; and that interest in abstract studies comes when the
development of the brain enables us to carry on logical trains of
thought. All of us can recall many interests which were once strong, and
are now weak or else have altogether passed away. Hide-and-seek,
Pussy-wants-a-corner, excursions to the little fishing pond, securing
the colored chromo at school, the care of pets, reading
blood-and-thunder stories or sentimental ones--interest in these things
belongs to our past, or has left but a faint shadow. Other interests
have come, and these in turn will also disappear and other new ones yet
appear as long as we keep on acquiring new experience.

take advantage of interests when they appear if we wish to utilize and
develop them. How many people there are who at one time felt an interest
impelling them to cultivate their taste for music, art, or literature
and said they would do this at some convenient season, and finally found
themselves without a taste for these things! How many of us have felt an
interest in some benevolent work, but at last discovered that our
inclination had died before we found time to help the cause! How many of
us, young as we are, do not at this moment lament the passing of some
interest from our lives, or are now watching the dying of some interest
which we had fondly supposed was as stable as Gibraltar? The drawings of
every interest which appeals to us is a voice crying, Now is the
appointed time! What impulse urges us today to become or to do, we must
begin at once to be or perform, if we would attain to the coveted end.

THE VALUE OF A STRONG INTEREST.--Nor are we to look upon these
transitory interests as useless. They come to us not only as a race
heritage, but they impel us to activities which are immediately useful,
or else prepare us for the later battles of life. But even aside from
this important fact it is worth everything just to be interested. For it
is only through the impulsion of interest that we first learn to put
forth effort in any true sense of the word, and interest furnishes the
final foundation upon which volition rests. Without interest the
greatest powers may slumber in us unawakened, and abilities capable of
the highest attainment rest satisfied with commonplace mediocrity. No
one will ever know how many Gladstones and Leibnitzes the world has lost
simply because their interests were never appealed to in such a way as
to start them on the road to achievement. It matters less what the
interest be, so it be not bad, than that there shall be some great
interest to compel endeavor, test the strength of endurance, and lead to
habits of achievement.

Next: Selection Among Our Interests

Previous: Direct And Indirect Interest

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