One of my long-delayed thoughts is that appearances had no small part in my actions when I was being pressured for money.
Essentially, each person has to choose what names he will put up with being called. Given the choice between foolish and hard-hearted, I couldn’t stand the thought of head-hearted, even at steadly diminishing odds.
At times, I thought it strange that I, a person who never gambles, should be making such increasingly unlikely ‘bets’. What I’ve realized, as I write, is that the money was incidental – the real bet was trust, and from that view my reaction was quite chracteristically conservative. The only way to ‘lose’ was to refuse a genuine request for help, and that was never a risk if I never refused. Remaining unimpeachable carried more weight that what might appear to be common sense.