Sunday, January 24, 2010

Christmas Stress

Subject:  Christmas Stress
Quote:  “[F]amilies who have been separated throughout the year assemble once more together…. There will occur a great amount of strain.  People who do not feel amiable are putting great pressure on themselves to appear amiable!  There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honourable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c’est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy…. [U]nder these conditions—mental strain, physical malaise—it is highly probably that dislikes that were before merely mild, and disagreements that were trivial, might suddenly assume a more serious character.  The result of pretending to be a more amiable, a more forgiving, a more high-minded person than one really is, has sooner or later the effect of causing one to behave as a more disagreeable, a more ruthless and an altogether more unpleasant person than is actually the case!  If you dam the stream of natural behaviour, mon ami, sooner or later the dam bursts and a cataclysm occurs!” 
Character:  M. Hercule Poirot
Chapter/Story:  V
Book Title/Copyright:  A Holiday for Murder (Murder for Christmas), 1938