Would you live with ease, do what you should, and not what you please. Success has ruined many a man.
I smiled ruefully to myself, knowing I had already experienced a far greater and deeper union with this man than that which propriety was so busy guarding against. I had seen and accepted our fate here, tonight, on the crest of this ancient hill, and all other ceremonies would be just that: rituals to please the people and make public the commitment that had been made in the privacy of my own heart.
What our closest friends do for us is to teach us true selflessness. We learn that while it might be safer for them if we keep them out, true friendship means letting them in. We cannot decide for them what they are willing to suffer with us and for us. While we certainly don't want to see our friends suffer, friendship isn't about protecting each other from pain so much as it is about helping each other to become what God has called us to be.
The three-toed sloth lives a peaceful, vegetarian life in perfect harmony with its environment. A good-natured smile is forever on its lips...I have seen that smile with my own eyes. I am not one given to projecting human traits and emotions onto animals, but many a time during that month in Brazil, looking up at a sloth in repose, I felt I was in the presence of upside-down yogis deep in meditation or hermits deep in prayer, wise beings whose intense imaginative lives were beyond the reach of scientific probing.