Realism Seminar "What
Does It Mean
to Like People?"
2003, at the Aesthetic
Realism Foundation, 141 Greene Street, New York, NY 10012
4. Knowing People
June Margold, who studied science
at college, was a pretty, soft-spoken young woman, who worked as an
to president of an importing firm. Her manner was gracious and
assured, but she told us that she wanted to overcome her fear of
We asked her the question that Mr.
people in the Aesthetic Realism lessons he gave, "What is the thing you
have most against yourself?"
June Margold: Not being
people, or actually I should say, forgiving.
you think that
if you were more understanding, you might be, as you say, more
C: Do you think there may
be a relation
between your fear of expressing yourself, and how you see people?
JM: Yes....I haven't always
people's reaction to what I would say.
C: Do you see people as
you, or different from you?
JM: That's a difficult
I've tried to see people as more like myself, but whether I do or not,
I don't know.
C: If you feel people are
from you, do you also feel they are less good than you?
JM: Yes, I have felt
C: Do you see that, if
you're going to
express yourself, its going to be to people--but if you see people as
good enough, you're stuck? What do you think the answer might be?
"To see people as," Miss Margold
C: To begin with, try to
see who people
really are. Because you can't just give yourself an order, "I'm now
to see people as good enough." But are you sure that you're
of people is exact?
Ms. Margold said her judgment
likely wasn't exact,
but she also said she felt she had the real low-down on people, and
included how she saw men. "I don't like them," she said, "I don't
like the way they look at me sometimes."
C: Do you think
that you, like
other women, can feel that you haven't ever been seen right by any man,
and at the same time you don't feel you're kind to men in the depths of
JM: Yes, it's true.
C: Do you think that you
hope to be able
to respect yourself for how you see gentlemen?
C: Well, that can be.
We know it's
Sometime later, in an assignment
about how she
saw people at age 10, she wrote: "I felt I had more control over myself
than other people did, especially my parents. [They] fought often, and
I didn't want to be like them." We asked her to write soliloquies
of both when they were her age, and try to see what they felt within,
hopes, their fears, what they cared for. As she did these, she
less bitter and suspicious towards men, and people in general.
To have her see that women and men
have the same
inward fight, the same depth of ethics, we asked her to read and
on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, which gave her "immense
she told us. For instance, she wrote:
Jane Austen believes
in the deeper
beauty of people and that this can be brought out....The author shows
sharp, sensible Elizabeth needs criticism herself in order to see her
follies in her judgment of people, be more accurate, and more kind.
Learn What It Means to Like People,
Be Real Democracy
Frances Wright lectured in New
York, Boston, Philadelphia
and Cincinnati with "an earnestness and wholesomeness," said one woman
who attended, "that made their way to the mind and heart." Thousands
to hear her speak about the need for universal equal education for all
children, and what made for poverty and slavery. A fundamental
in economics, she said, caused both slavery in the South and "wage
in the North. For her honesty, she was slandered in print again
again--including being called a "female monster."
Frances Wright criticized straight
between rich and poor, saying that it made democracy impossible, and in
the 1830s made a proposal truly consonant with our Constitution:
...that the whole real
the State--lands, mines, quarries, buildings and capital of every
be declared forever public property (as in the nature of things it is),
and administered by the Body Politic for the equal encouragement of all
This is beautiful and just. Mr.
that the central fight in history has been about how the world should
owned--by a few people who have contempt for the rest of humanity, or
all people? In 1970 he said history had reached the point where
based on contempt had failed irrevocably, because people the world over
are insisting they be seen with respect.
Recently June Margold wrote to us:
"I'm so glad
[to be thinking] about what it means to know myself, to know other
[and] have them know me. I feel this is my biggest hope." I
and I am sure that when Aesthetic Realism is studied everywhere, the
Frances Wright fought for, where people truly like other people, want
be just to them, will come to be!
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