Our Lord did not try to alter circumstances. He submitted to them. They shaped his life and eventually brought him to Calvary. I believe we miss opportunities and lovely secrets our Lord is waiting to teach us by not taking what comes.
The term up has no meaning apart from the word down. The term fast has no meaning apart from the term slow. In addition such terms have no meaning even when used together, except when confined to a very particular situation... most of our language about the organization and objective's of government is made up of such polar terms. Justice and injustice are typical. A reformer who wants to abolish injustice and create a world in which nothing but justice prevails is like a man who wants to make everything up. Such a man might feel that if he took the lowest in the world and carried it up to the highest point and kept on doing this, everything would eventually become up. This would certainly move a great many objects and create an enormous amount of activity. It might or might not be useful, according to the standards which we apply. However it would never result in the abolishment of down.
Thinking more than others about our own thoughts is not self-centeredness. It means that if asked what's on our mind, we are less likely to mention being aware of the world around us, and more likely to mention our inner reflections. But we are less likely to mention thinking about other people.
Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation. Tooting, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego. His anxiety subsides. His inhuman void spreads on like a gray vegetation.
We're going to need to absorb some pain. The Republicans want to pile all the pain on people who can least afford it and the middle class and Democrats under his leadership want to make sure that we can address deficit reduction and continue to make investments and shared sacrifice is going to be imperative in order to be able to do that.