The Seven Follies of the Common Man - Part II

Joe Pagano

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In Part II of this article, I discuss the other three follies of the common man: hate, spite, and unforgiveness. Clearly, these are three negative qualities, the first two being very strong negative emotions, and the last being a cancer-causing bitterness-arousing trait. These follies wreak havoc on a man’s emotional state of being and cause all kinds of disturbing conditions even to the point of making man sick. Let’s discuss how we can avoid the pitfalls into which these three follies plunge us and recognize ways to rid ourselves of these onerous states.

That hate is a negative emotion is a no-brainer. Everyone—and I mean everyone—at one time or another has experienced this emotion. People mistakenly believe that hate toward something or someone actually permits the release of pent-up anger and frustration which, if left inside, would otherwise damage that person’s well-being. This is fallacious reasoning because hate, rather than liberating such pent-up negative feelings, actually grinds them deeper into the very soul of the person, thus forging ravines of maladjusted emotions. Hate cuts through the core of a person, layering scars of damaged tissue on a system that is probably overtaxed to begin with. What most people fail to understand is that harboring hate inside actually punishes the person doing the hating rather than the object of the hatred. How can we prove this? Well, just think for a moment about the last time you felt this emotion. Do you remember that gut-wrenching feeling in your stomach, that foul taste in your mouth, or that uncontrollably aching sensation in your muscles? Prolonged hate poisons your system and can bring you to an untimely demise. Rid yourself of this emotion before it rids you of yourself.

Spite is an interesting folly because it can be hidden behind all sorts of regal costumes, parading itself one moment in kingly garb and the next in princely attire. Spite-work is a bane to mankind and causes all kinds of problems in the world. Spite is an evil sister of hate and is bred from hate’s malevolent tendencies. By seeking revenge on someone or something, a person who harbors spite is looking to project hatred and sow discord. Nothing good can come out of spiteful impulses. This is a hard folly to overcome because man is inherently prone to get back at someone who has caused him injury or harm. The key to overcoming this folly is to literally turn the other cheek. Now this philosophical approach does not mean that you let people use, abuse, and walk all over you. It just means that you outwit the baneful folly spite by not permitting people’s grievous actions to affect your behavior. Then you are in complete control and not subject to being ruled by this treacherous and destructive folly.

Not forgiving others, or “unforgiveness" is the last of the seven follies of the common man. Notice how this trait ties in closely to the one just discussed. People who cannot forgive their fellow man are more prone to spite; their actions are therefore governed by a negative rather than positive force. When you do not forgive, you do not hurt the person you are not forgiving but rather yourself. This state of “unforgiveness" breeds ill will and hate inside of you; the likely result is that you become spiteful toward others. Thus this ugly trio of hate, spite, and unforgiveness go around feeding into a never-ending vortex of destructive energy. Who suffers in the end? Of course, you do. Why would you do this to yourself? Well, part of the problem is not being aware of the dynamics involved, and part of the problem, well, just resides in the human nature. As in physics, just as the Second Law of Thermodynamics states that entropy, or randomness, usually increases, so with man, if not checked, his malevolent impulses usually increase. So do yourself a favor and check these bad impulses; otherwise, you might just have to settle for being a “common man. "

See more at Self-Help Ebooks

Joe is a prolific writer of self-help and educational material and an award-winning former teacher of both college and high school mathematics. Under the penname, JC Page, Joe authored Arithmetic Magic, the little classic on the ABC’s of arithmetic. Joe is also author of the charming self-help ebook, Making a Good Impression Every Time: The Secret to Instant Popularity; the original collection of poetry, Poems for the Mathematically Insecure, and the short but highly effective fraction troubleshooter Fractions for the Faint of Heart. The diverse genre of his writings (novel, short story, essay, script, and poetry)—particularly in regard to its educational flavor— continues to captivate readers and to earn him recognition.

Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries. Toward this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. For more information go to


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