Once when I was in Hawaii, on the island of Kauai, I met a mysterious old stranger. He said he was about to die and wanted to tell someone about the treasure. I said, 'Okay, as long as it's not a long story. Some of us have a plane to catch, you know.' He stared telling his story, about the treasure and his life and all, and I thought 'This story isn't too long.' But then, he kept going, and I started thinking, 'Uh-oh, this story is getting long.' But then the story was over, and I said to myself 'You know, that story wasn't too long after all.' I forget what the story was about, but there was a good movie on the plane. It was a little long, though.
One aspect of modern life which has gone far to stifle men is the rapid growth of tremendous corporations. Enormous spiritual sacrifices are made in the transformation of shopkeepers into employees. The disappearance of free enterprise has led to a submergence of the individual in the impersonal corporation in much the same manner as he has been submerged in the state in other lands.
One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation.
One man envies the success in life of another, and hates him in secret; nor is he willing to give him good advice when he is consulted, except it be by some wonderful effort of good feeling, and there are, alas, few such men in the world. A real friend, on the other hand, exults in his friend?s happiness, rejoices in all his joys, and is ready to afford him the best advice.
One of the fundamental reasons why so many doctors become cynical and disillusioned is precisely because, when the abstract idealism has worn thin, they are uncertain about the value of the actual lives of the patients they are treating. This is not because they are callous or personally inhuman: it is because they live in and accept a society which is incapable of knowing what a human life is worth.
One of the grotesqueries of present-day American life is the amount of reasoning that goes into displaying the wisdom secreted in bad movies while proving that modern art is meaningless. They have put into practice the notion that a bad art work cleverly interpreted according to some obscure Method is more rewarding than a masterpiece wrapped in silence.
One of the most appalling comments on our present way of life is that half of all the beds in our hospitals are reserved for patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows. Yet a vast majority of those people would be walking the streets today, leading happy, useful lives, if they had only heeded the words of Jesus: "Have no anxiety about the morrow"; or the words of Sir William Osler; "Live in day-tight compartments.
One of the most tragicomic things in life is that when a man makes an imaginary thing – such as a religion – as his own flag and carries it all his life and even dies for it! An intelligent man has only one flag: Flag of reason and science!