4. The double bind can also be self-imposed. In a Hassidic story I once heard, a righteous man had journeyed to Sodom, climbed on a barrel in the city's market place, and started preaching, urging the inhabitants to repent. He went on like this for fifteen years, and no one paid attention. Finally one day a young boy stopped in front of him and said: "You must have been standing here even before I was born. Do you really think you will convince us?" The righteous man answered: "When I came into this city I did in fact hope this will happen. Now I know it will not—but I still have to go on preaching, because otherwise it will mean that you have convinced me."

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