The integrity and validity of our world-view depends on maintaining the veneer of control and of competence. Competence in life may seem a slightly strange concept, but it is, I believe, one of our most treasured and necessary possessions. Though we may concede that we are not always so fabulous and excellent in all aspects of our lives, we nevertheless hope that we possess a certain minimum facility; the basic skills and intelligence to provide for ourselves and our future with some small measure of success and happiness.

Without this basic quality, this absolute minimum, we are surely lost. It is the first glimpse we may offer ourselves of what I truly believe is an inherent modesty in all men. Even the most pompous and prideful of us surely have something to hide, often a latent insecurity which the forced grandiosity seeks to compensate for. These are small redemptions and minor comforts, however. There are redeemable qualities in all of us, but our inquiry is focused on those harmful and unworthy aspects of our character that damage the best in our personalities, poison our interactions with others, and burden our relationship with the world.



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