yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear

Baltic Sea

Banned
Polish
Hello! It's nice to be with you online again!

The statement in question goes as follows:

"Everyone's childhood plays itself out. No wonder no one knows the other or can completely understand (...). How do we know the pain of another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way, at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear.

I am very interested in the last marked part of the statement.

Does it mean: how much of the leeway is unhealthy and a person can't stand it as a result? It is too much for them.

Thank you.
 
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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I can't really comment on the language because I find it hard to read, let alone understand. I wonder if it was written by a native speaker. Could you give us a source please.
    "Leeway "I think means making allowances for other people, the person 'one' has a relationship with, described here as "the other" I guess. 'One' is oneself or at least the one who is not "the other".

    I'd say it means how much of anybody else's pain can one bear. In this case, the pain of the other's earlier years, rather than 'the leeway'. Getting too involved in another's pain can be unhealthy. Making too many allowances ( giving too much leeway) is often not good for the person making the allowances. (Nor, I would add, for ' the other' for whom the allowances are being made.)

    Hermione
     

    Baltic Sea

    Banned
    Polish
    I have another question about the same statement.

    How do we know the pain of another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way, at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear.

    In my opinion, the sentence marked red in bold type should be expressed in Present Perfect (Continuous) Tense.

    How do we know the pain of another's earlier years, let alone all that he has dragged with him since he was born, at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear.

    or

    How do we know the pain of another's earlier years, let alone all that he has been dragging with him since he started facing hardships of life, at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear.

    Thank you.
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Could you be so kind as to share with us the source of this quote, please? It made me quite interested in reading the book in the foreseeable future. ;)
    Marilyn Monroe wrote this as an entry in her diary in 1958 (when she was 32 years old). While she was a native speaker of English and was far from stupid, she was not considered an intellectual. Also, diary entries may be written quickly and without attention to perfect usage, since the writer usually does not expect anyone else to read them.

    I think it means we have to give other people some leeway and accept their imperfections because we do not know the pain of their childhood, but we must not give them so much leeway that it becomes unhealthy for us.
     
    What a pity. I was ready to go to the library to look for some interesting novel... :)

    Anyway, I looked it up and thanks to Google I found this passage

    [...]How do we know the pain or another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear. I think to love bravely is the best and accept - as much as one can bear.
    I believe that the last sentence casts some light on what the interpretation of the previous words should be and it fits quite nicely with Egmont's impression.

    So, I would say that Marylin thinks that we should try to understand people's feelings and accept their (sometimes irritating) behaviour only to a point when it doesn't become harmful to us (so that we can no longer bear it). Empathy doesn't justify allowing others to hurt us, no matter how hard their experiences might have been.
     
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    Baltic Sea

    Banned
    Polish
    I am very grateful for your exhaustive comments. Please excuse my doggedness (I love this word) in making sure that Perfect Tenses should be used in the diary.

    Your replies would be highly appreciated.
     
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