Choose a topic from Part 2A:

52. The Increase of Habits

1. A habit is said to increase inasmuch as its influence on its subject (the person who has it) grows fuller, wider, or more intense.

2. Increase in habit is usually a matter of greater influence, rather than of more instances of the habitual act. Habit does not increase merely by addition of act to act. Sometimes, indeed, more frequently repeated acts come from increased habit, and they may be said, in a sense, to further the increase. But the increase itself is somewhat like that of the growing body which is not measured by mere additional items of food added to the diet, even though the intake of food accompanies growth and furthers it.

3. Hence not every act which springs from habit is an increase of the habit. Indeed, an act which accords with a habit, but is less intense than the habit itself, actually tends to decrease the habit rather than to increase it. Thus the habit of studiousness is not increased, but rather harmed and diminished, by an hour's careless or halfhearted study. Acts give increase to habit when considered cumulatively, not individually. Similarly, it is the cumulative effect of drops of steadily falling water that hollows out a stone, not the individual action of each drop.

"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel."
Thomas á Kempis

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