In an ideal society, children would grow up endowed with standards so well balanced and reasonable that they would act appropriately in every situation. Such a person would be unfailingly thoughtful of all people, feeling the same concern for others as for oneself. The vicissitudes of life would be met with equanimity regardless of the ease or hardship involved. To meet each situation appropriately the person would be exquisitely sensitive to others. He would be able to remain flexible and empathetic to everyone and to himself. He would be incapable of veering to extremes of behavior. He would find interesting and stimulating those beliefs of others which conflict with his own. He would regard others’ freedom to adopt different standards equal to his own point of view. Such a person would exhibit emotional stability even under the most stressful conditions with a full range of human emotions to suit the occasion. He would understand himself so well that he would feel neither superior nor inferior to another human being. Such a well-balanced person would be exempt from emotional illnesses and would be a valuable member of society.

Unfortunately, although some people approach such a refinement of admirable human qualities, they would likely have a great difficulty existing in most societies of the world. In fact, such stable people would likely be considered abnormal in any society. Few well-balanced, reasonable people exist. They are difficult to identify because most other people are so distorted in their reference point for reasonable behaviors in themselves and others. Why is our vantage point so skewed?