We are a spectacular, splendid manifestation of life. We have language. . . . We have affection We have genes for usefulness, and usefulness is about as close to a 'common goal' of nature as I can guess at. And finally, and perhaps best of all, we have music.
We are here to add to the sum of human goodness. To prove the thing exists. And however futile each individual act of courage or generosity, self-sacrifice or grace-it still proves the thing exists. Each act adds to the fund. It needs replenishment. Not only because evil flourishes, and is, most indefensibly, defended. But because goodness is no longer a respectable aim in life. The hound of hell, envy, has driven it from the house.
We are like vessels tossed on the bosom of the deep; our passions are the winds that sweep us impetuously forward; each pleasure is a rock; the whole life is a wide ocean. Reason is the pilot to guide us, but often allows itself to be led astray by the storms of pride.
We are the men of intrinsic value, who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government we have heads to get money, and hearts to spend it.
We are the men of intrinsic value, who can strike our fortunes out of ourselves, whose worth is independent of accidents in life, or revolutions in government: we have heads to get money, and hearts to spend it.
We can easily become as much slaves to precaution as we can to fear. Although we can never rivet our fortune so tight as to make it impregnible, we may by our excessive prudence squeeze out of the life that we are guarding so anxiously all the adventurous quality that makes it worth living.
We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.
We cannot afford merely to sit down and deplore the evils of city life as inevitable, when cities are constantly growing, both absolutely and relatively. We must set ourselves vigorously about the task of improving them; and this task is now well begun.