Confront: to meet something face to face, especially an obstacle that must be overcome.
That which a person can confront, he can handle.
The first step of handling anything is gaining an ability to face it.
It could be said that war continues as a threat to Man because Man cannot confront war. The idea of making war so terrible that no one will be able to fight it is the exact reverse of fact—if one wishes to end war. The invention of the longbow, gunpowder, heavy naval cannon, machine guns, liquid fire and the hydrogen bomb add only more and more certainty that war will continue. As each new element which Man cannot confront is added to elements he has not been able to confront so far, Man engages himself upon a decreasing ability to handle war.
We are looking here at the basic anatomy of all problems. Problems start with an inability to confront anything. Whether we apply this to domestic quarrels or to insects, to garbage dumps or Picasso, one can always trace the beginning of any existing problem to an unwillingness to confront.
Let us take a domestic scene. The husband or the wife cannot confront the other, cannot confront marriage consequences, cannot confront the economic burdens, and so we have domestic strife. The less any of these actually are confronted, the more problem they will become.
It is a truism that one never solves anything by running away from it. Of course, one might also say that one never solves cannonballs by baring his breast to them. But I assure you that if nobody cared whether cannonballs were fired or not, control of people by threat of cannonballs would cease.
The more the horribleness of crime is deified by television and public press, the less the society will be able to handle crime. The more formidable is made the juvenile delinquent, the less the society will be able to handle the juvenile delinquent.
The world is never bright to those who cannot confront it.
Everything is a dull gray to a defeated army. The whole trick of somebody telling you, “It’s all bad over there” is contained in the fact that he is trying to keep you from confronting something and thus make you retreat from life. Eyeglasses, nervous twitches, tensions, all of these things stem from an unwillingness to confront. When that willingness is repaired, these disabilities tend to disappear.