There are certain sectors in man’s nature that are more flexible than others. Those strivings and character traits by which men differ from each other show a great amount of elasticity and malleability: love, destructiveness, sadism, the tendency to submit, the lust for power, detachment, the desire for self-aggrandisement, the passion for thrift, the enjoyment of sensual pleasure, and the fear of sensuality. These and many other strivings and fears to be found in man develop as a reaction to certain life conditions. They are not particularly flexible, for once they have become part of a person’s character, they do not easily disappear or change into some other drive. But they are flexible in the sense that individuals, particularly in their childhood, develop the one or other need according to the whole mode of life they find themselves in. None of these needs is fixed and rigid as if it were an innate part of human nature which develops and has to be satisfied under all circumstances.
(Erich Fromm, The fear of freedom)
The problem with the human heart
is that it is too much like lycra.
Pulled taut across ill deserving spaces
mistaking stretchabilty for unbreakability.
not a thought for threadbare continuity.
And when reason is repaired
lycra is left
free to contract
armed with the expectation
of a sudden disregard
for the form that it justjustnow stretched across
and the retention of a truer shape with ease.
But then the shapelessness of senseless complacency is plain for all to see.