I like the word “gumption” because it's so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn't likely to reject anyone who comes along. It's an old Scottish word, once used a lot by pioneers, but which, like “kin,” seems to have all but dropped out of use. I like it also because it describes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption. The Greeks called it enthousiasmos, the root of “enthusiasm.” which means literally “filled with theos,” or God, or Quality. See how that fits? A person filled with gumption doesn't sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He's at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what's up the track and meeting it when it comes. That's gumption.
Throughout the process of fixing the machine things always come up, low-quality things, from a dusted knuckle to an accidentally ruined “irreplaceable” assembly. These drain off gumption, destroy enthusiasm and leave you so discouraged you want to forget the whole business. I call these things “gumption traps.” There are hundreds of different kinds of gumption traps, maybe thousands, maybe millions. I have no way of knowing....What I have in mind now is a catalog of “Gumption Traps I Have Known.” I want to start a whole new academic field, gumptionology, in which these traps are sorted, classified, structured into hierarchies and interrelated for the edification of future generations and the benefit of all mankind. Gumptionology 101 – An examination of affective, cognitive and psychomotor blocks in the perception of Quality relationships...I'd like to see that in a college catalog somewhere.