aish.com > Spirituality > Growing Each Day

Tammuz 12

May 21, 2009 | by Aish.com

Numerous traits comprise the character of a human being. We tend to consider some traits as commendable and others as undesirable.

Traits per se are neither good nor bad. They acquire a value according to the way they are applied. Hate is generally assumed to be a very loathsome trait, but when one despises evil and injustice and seeks to eradicate them, it becomes a constructive and admirable trait. Love, on the other hand, is generally looked upon as a very positive trait. Yet, when misapplied, love can transgress the boundaries of decency and result in grossly immoral behavior.

Rather than seek to eradicate an undesirable trait, we might consciously redirect it so that it serves a useful function. While redirection can happen with some drives at an unconscious level (which constitutes the psychological defense mechanism of sublimation), we have no control over what happens in the unconscious. Preferably, we should avoid dismissing a trait which is generally considered unacceptable and consciously redirect it into a positive channel. It is obviously to our advantage to redirect energy, rather to have to repress it, since maintaining that repression requires expenditure of energy.




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