We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess.
Only the most unapologetic biblical fundamentalists, for instance, take every biblical injunction literally. If we all took all scripture at the same level of authority, then we would be more open to slavery, to the subjugation of women, to wider use of stoning. Jesus himself spoke out frequently against divorce in the strongest of terms.
Say not, the struggle naught availeth,The labor and the wounds are vain,The enemy faints not, nor faileth,And as things have been, they remain.If hopes are dupes, fears may be liars;It may be, in yon smoke concealedYour comrades chase e'en now the fliersAnd, but for you, possess the field.For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,Seem here no painful inch to gain,Far back, through creeks and inlets making,Comes silent, flooding in, the main.And not by eastern windows only,When daylight comes, comes in the light;In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,But westward, look, the land is bright.
Arthur H. Clough, The Land is Br
The desire of advising has a very extensive prevalence; and, since advice cannot be given but to those that will hear it, a patient listener is necessary to the accommodation of all those who desire to be confirmed in the opinion of their own wisdom: a patient listener, however, is not always to be had; the present age, whatever age is present, is so vitiated and disordered, that young people are readier to talk than to attend, and good counsel is only thrown away upon those who are full of their own perfections.
Your children are not your children.They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.They come through you but not from you.And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts.For they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their souls,For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows might go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies,so He loves also the bow that is stable.