Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Perfectionism, no less than isolationism or imperialism or power politics, may obstruct the paths to international peace. Let us not forget that the retreat to isolationism a quarter of a century ago was started not by a direct attack against international cooperation but against the alleged imperfections of the peace.
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
To learn to see- to accustom the eye to calmness, to patience, and to allow things to come up to it; to defer judgment, and to acquire the habit of approaching and grasping an individual case from all sides. This is the first preparatory schooling of intellectuality. One must not respond immediately to a stimulus; one must acquire a command of the obstructing and isolating instincts.
Fiction does something unique in that it takes us out of our heads and puts us into other people's heads. And I think reading, and experiencing fiction through reading, is something that gives us empathy. And that, I think, is vital. It takes us out of our lives. Without reading, you're stuck with one life. Reading gives you more than one life. It gives you an infinite number of lives, which I think is wonderful. Or at least, not infinite, but as many as there are books on the shelves.
I mean that they (students) should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living? Methinks this would exercise their minds as much as mathematics.