In every child who is born, no matter what circumstances, and of no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again and in him, too, once more, and of each of us, our terrific responsibility toward human life toward the utmost idea of goodness, of the horror of terror, and of God.
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.
Most people hew the battlements of life from compromise, erecting their impregnable keeps from judicious submissions, fabricating their philosophical drawbridges from emotional retractions and scalding marauders in the boiling oil of sour grapes.
Of what significance is one's one existence, one is basically unaware. What does a fish know about the water in which he swims all his life The bitter and the sweet come from outside. The hard from within, from one's own efforts. For the most part I do what my own nature drives me to do. It is embarrassing to earn such respect and love for it.
Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted, it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in which instinct has learned nothing from experience.
Science says 'We must live,' and seeks the means of prolonging, increasing, facilitating and amplifying life, of making it tolerable and acceptable, wisdom says 'We must die,' and seeks how to make us die well.
The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth.
The leaders I met, whatever walk of life they were from, whatever institutions they were presiding over, always referred back to the same failure something that happened to them that was personally difficult, even traumatic, something that made them feel that desperate sense of hitting bottom--as something they thought was almost a necessity. It's as if at that moment the iron entered their soul that moment created the resilience that leaders need.