Website owner: James Miller
Boldness. Presuming unduly, brazen, forward, impudent, shameless, insolently assured, saucy, taking too much for granted, overconfidence, audacity, insolence, effrontery, brassiness, impertinence, flippancy, cockiness, cheek, nerve, disrespectfulness; defiant of restraint (as of law or decorum); fearless. Shyness. Timid, fearful, lacking self-confidence, reserve, constraint, restraint, diffidence, self-conscious, bashful, retire into one's shell, keep in the background. What causes boldness? What causes shyness? Some children can be obnoxiously bold and aggressive. Pedrito is six years old and is terribly bold. He aggressively asks for money, aggressively pushes you to play basketball and other games with him; he knows where every object is in every one of your closets in the house and obviously has made himself very much at home in your house. Other children are exactly the opposite --- shy and timid. Why is this? What causes one child to be so bold and another so shy? Is it due to differences in their upbringing? Is excessive boldness due to lack of teaching, instruction and correction? Lack of strictness on the part of the parents? Can one take boldness out of a child by spanking and strict discipline? A person who is bold is generally audacious, insolent, and cocky. Isn't the very root and essence of boldness a lack of respect for all authority and restraint? It acknowledges no checks on its freedom and generally is without shame. Does this indicate a deep rooted moral problem, a deep spiritual problem? Shyness is just the opposite of boldness isn't it? Aren't the two just opposite ends of a spectrum where the healthiest place is the middle? If this is true is not, perhaps, the cause of shyness related to the cause of boldness? If we knew the cause of one might it not give us insight into the cause of the other? If, for example, the cause of boldness in children is lack of restraint and discipline in their upbringing, letting them do whatever they please, then is the cause of shyness perhaps too much restraint? Is boldness due entirely to poor upbringing, lack of instruction and strictness, on the part of the parents or is it a natural propensity in a certain type of disposition i.e. are some children naturally inclined toward it, is it at least partially innate? How about in the case of shyness? In the adult world we find many adults who are very bold, aggressive and insolent. Similarly we find many who are shy and lack confidence in themselves. Do all bold adults come from bold children? Do all shy adults come from shy children? Do bold children ever turn into shy adults? Do shy children ever turn into bold adults? i.e. does shyness or boldness ever completely reverse itself into it's opposite. Is whether a person is to be bold or shy in life completely determined in early childhood? A shy child may lose much of his shyness as life passes but does he not always retain some tendency or inclination toward shyness? And, similarly, does not a bold child, even though he may lose much of his boldness as life passes always retain some tendency toward boldness? Shyness is of interest to me because it is closely related to lack of confidence which often leads into an Inferiority Complex. Do bold people ever have Inferiority Complexes? Do bold people ever suffer from lack of confidence? One might suppose that they do not since abundance of confidence seems to usually be associated with boldness. What is the relationship of Shyness and Boldness with Introvertiveness and Extrovertiveness? Shy people are usually introvertive. Are bold people always extrovertive? Q. What forces would keep me from making the kind of bold, audacious requests, demands and remarks that bold people sometimes make (such as requests for money)? What restrains me? A. The following: 1. Concern for others. 2. A strongly ingrained habit of politeness and courtesy. 3. I know that it would be taken badly by the other person and I see no reason to irritate people and make them dislike me. We ask again the question: What causes boldness in a person? Might boldness start out originally as no more than a simple bad habit that got started just because a kid finds out that if he boldly asks a person for something they will often give it to him, that if he is bold and aggressive and asks for things he often gets them (although the person asked resents him for asking, dislikes him for asking, and only gives the thing out of an inability to say "no")? i.e. does boldness perhaps get started just because the kid finds out that it works, that he can use people, can get his way by pushing and aggressiveness, that however wrong, however bad an impression he is making, whatever harm it may be doing, it works? Let us assume that this is indeed the case. How about the fear of refusal or censure or concern about what people will think of him? Doesn't that bother him? Perhaps it might the first few times he does it but then he gets used to it, then he gets hardened to it. Like a dog who stubbornly braves a shower of pebbles and stones to rush in to steal a piece of meat he braves his fears of refusal or censure in order to take the prize. The first time or two he may have to steel himself to the task, it may require some nerve, it may be difficult. But then it gets easier and soon it doesn't bother him at all. Like the highwaymen of old times who waited by the wayside and waylaid, plundered, robbed and murdered the passersby, he has learned to plunder people. Like the highwayman he may have been bothered by what he was doing at first but then he becomes hardened to it, it is just "life", and although it is dirty business the plunder makes it all worth it. All this explains a bold person's total lack of fear of people, his general indifference, and his shamelessness. How about his insolence? What is behind that? If we assume that insolence is caused by malice and a deep-seated dislike of people what causes this dislike of people? Well, he may have developed a feeling of being "unloved" and "unwanted" (rightfully, due to the way in which he treats people) and this feeling is what causes the malice and dislike. Also, there is a proverb that says "He who wrongs you will hate you" and he has become so accustomed to using people, walking on them, and plundering them, that he has come to have contempt for them, to despise them. So, in summary, what can we say? What is the cause of boldness? Isn't it caused by repeatedly doing bold things? What is the cause of shamelessness? Isn't it caused by repeatedly doing shameful things? I believe that the above scenario is the correct explanation for the phenomenon of boldness. Now for some more questions. How about the great abundance of confidence that generally characterizes a bold person? Why? Where does it come from? Well, confidence is a result of two things: 1. total lack of fear 2. being happy with yourself (being pleased with yourself, being content and at ease with your own abilities and accomplishments, having a high opinion of yourself). We already know how the bold person loses his fear of people. He does it by steeling himself against his fears and just doing a thing in spite of conscience, social rules or what people may think; by the act of defying people, until he has lost all his fear of them, of their opinions, sentiments and rules. How about " 2. Being happy with yourself" ? Why might a bold person also have this ingredient in the two-ingredient recipe for confidence? Well, first remember that he is shameless, that he has lost his conscience, his sense of right and wrong, and consequently he may well not think of himself as a bad person --- he may be quite content with himself morally. Second, note that any person, even a totally illiterate and ignorant person, can be totally happy and content with himself if he decides to be. Even a ignorant illiterate can say to himself "I know everything that is worth knowing. I have all I want." In addition to this the bold person has a contempt for other people. He is accustomed to living off them by plundering them. He is accustomed to looking down on them, to regarding himself as smarter than them. NOTE. The above mechanism by which a bold person acquires his boldness also applies to a lot of other personality traits besides boldness. Like what ones? Lying, stealing, cheating, selfishness, hurting others, fornication, adultery, etc.. They are all habits that start out with a single first wrong action that gives a person something he wants. He finds that it works, that it gives him what he wants and is easy to do. So he does it again. And he does it again and again until it becomes a habit. And with more and more repetition it becomes more and more strongly ingrained until it is a distinct personality trait. In the case of the personality trait of lying there was that first lie. It worked. The person found that he was able to get what he wanted by lying. He did it again. Again it gave him what he wanted. He found it was a very effective way of getting the things he wanted in life. It was easy and he found that he even enjoyed doing it. It was much easier and better than always being restricted to having to tell the truth. It gave him control over things, power. It was a great discovery. It was a tool he found himself using all the time. It developed into a habit and then into a strongly ingrained personality trait. The same thing happens with stealing. There was that first theft. The person got what he wanted. It worked. He did it again. It worked again. It was an easy way of getting the things he wanted. He liked it. It was exciting. It called for cleverness. He knew if he got caught there would be excitement enough so he must not get caught. He kept doing it, it became a habit, and he became a very clever thief. It is interesting to note that all these bad habits that we have mentioned --- boldness, lying, cheating, stealing, selfishness, hurting others, fornication, adultery, etc. --- all form a single personality pattern i.e. if a person has one of them, he probably has them all; they tend to occur together. Note that they all involve plundering other people. Those who have this type personality are predators --- and other people are their prey. Now let us ask another question: How does one prevent boldness in a child? The answer is "instruction, strictness and discipline". The Bible says "spare the rod and spoil the child" and no advice could be better. When a child does wrong he should be spanked (or "whipped"). Why does this work? It nips the bad habits in the bud before they become established. If a parent truly loves his child he can show his love in no better way than in making sure that he grows up in the right way with the right habits, values and principles. And he does this by constant supervision, correction and instruction. Respect for others, respect for authority, respect for moral law, are the first and most important principles to be instilled. Obedience is the first lesson to be taught. One trains a child just as one trains a dog --- by constant repetition, instruction and correction --- by a lot of work and effort. If a person hates his child and wishes him to grow up in a bad way and have a bad life the very best approach he could take would be to let him have his way in everything, to let him grow up wild; to let him develop all the bad habits with no instruction, correction, or discipline; to encourage him in disrespect for others and disrespect for authority and moral law by your own example; to spoil him, to give him whatever his heart desires. Oct 1977 More from SolitaryRoad.com:
On Self-sufficient Country Living, Homesteading
Principles for Living Life
America has lost her way
The really big sins
Theory on the Formation of Character
You are what you eat
People are like radio tuners --- they pick out and listen to one wavelength and ignore the rest
Cause of Character Traits --- According to Aristotle
These things go together
We are what we eat --- living under the discipline of a diet
Avoiding problems and trouble in life
Role of habit in formation of character
The True Christian
What is true Christianity?
Personal attributes of the true Christian
What determines a person's character?
Love of God and love of virtue are closely united
Walking a solitary road
Intellectual disparities among people and the power in good habits
Tools of Satan. Tactics and Tricks used by the Devil.
On responding to wrongs
Real Christian Faith
The Natural Way -- The Unnatural Way
Wisdom, Reason and Virtue are closely related
Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is another
My views on Christianity in America
The most important thing in life is understanding
Sizing up people
We are all examples --- for good or for bad
Television --- spiritual poison
The Prime Mover that decides "What We Are"
Where do our outlooks, attitudes and values come from?
Sin is serious business. The punishment for it is real. Hell is real.
Self-imposed discipline and regimentation
Achieving happiness in life --- a matter of the right strategies
Self-control, self-restraint, self-discipline basic to so much in life
We are our habits
What creates moral character?