The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.
There was a child went forth every day,And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or streching eyeless years,The early lilacs became part of the child,And grass and white and red morning-glories and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird...
Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie Dust unto dustThe calm, sweet earth that mothers all who dieAs all men must;Mourn not your captive comrades who must dwellToo strong to striveWithin each steel-bound coffin of a cell,Buried alive;But rather mourn the apathetic throngThe cowed and the meekWho see the world's great anguish and its wrongAnd dare not speak!
Laws can embody standards; governments can enforce laws--but the final task is not a task for government. It is a task for each and every one of us. Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted--when we tolerate what we know to be wrong--when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy, or too frightened--when we fail to speak up and speak out--we strike a blow against freedom and decency and justice.
How very seldom do you encounter in the world a man of great abilities, acquirements, experience, who will unmask his mind, unbutton his brains, and pour forth in careless and picturesque phrase all the results of his studies and observation; his knowledge of men, books, and nature. On the contrary, if a man has by any chance an original idea, he hoards it as if it were old gold; and rather avoids the subject with which he is most conversant, from fear that you may appropriate his best thoughts.
Had it not been for you, I should have remained what I was when we first met, a prejudiced, narrow-minded being, with contracted sympathies and false knowledge, wasting my life on obsolete trifles, and utterly insensible to the privilege of living in this wondrous age of change and progress.
In great cities men are brought together by the desire of gain. They are not in a state of co-operation, but of isolation, as to the making of fortunes; and for all the rest they are careless of neighbors. Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves; modern society acknowledges no neighbor.
No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented, and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate.
That doctrine of peace at any price has done more mischief than any I can well recall that have been afloat in this country. It has occasioned more wars than any of the most ruthless conquerors. It has disturbed and nearly destroyed that political equilibrium so necessary to the liberties and the welfare of the world.