Nature's beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude.
You can walk around this culture now, as a proud supporter of the so called anti-war movement and it's made up of a lot of people I used to know I'd like for them to be asked more often than they are, if your advice had been taken over the last 15 or so years; Slobodan Milosevic would still be the dictator of not just Serbia but also of a cleansed and ruined Bosnia and Kosovo. Saddam Hussein would still be the owner of Kuwait as well as Iraq, he would of nearly have doubled his holding of the worlds oil. The Taliban would still be in charge of Afghanistan. Don't you feel a little reproach to your so called high principle anti-war policy? Would that really have led to less violence, less cruelty?
There are, after all, atheists who say they wish the fable were true but are unable to suspend the requisite disbelief, or who have relinquished belief only with regret. To this I reply: who wishes that there was a permanent, unalterable celestial despotism that subjected us to continual surveillance and could convict us of thought-crime, and who regarded us as its private property even after we died? How happy we ought to be, at the reflection that there exists not a shred of respectable evidence to support such a horrible hypothesis.
We are not anxious to grab the easiest dollar. The tourist dollar alone, unrestricted, is not worth the devastation of my people. A country where people have lost their soul is no longer worth visiting. We will encourage only small numbers of visitors whose idea of a holiday is not heaven or paradise, but participation in a different experience. We shall try to avoid the fate of some of our Caribbean neighbors who have ridden the tiger of tourism only to wind up being devoured by it. Large super-luxury hotels with imported management, materials, and values bring false prosperity with the negative side effects of soaring land prices that kill agriculture, polluted beaches, traffic jams, high rise construction that ravages hillsides and scalds the eyeballs - the very problems that the visitors want to forget.
Vineyards and shining harvests, pastures, arbors, And all this our very utmost toil Can hardly care for, we wear down our strength Whether in oxen or in men, we dull The edges of our ploughshares, and in return Our fields turn mean and stingy, underfed, And so today the farmer shakes his head, More and more often sighing that his work, The labour of his hands, has come to naught.
If there is a symbol of our age, perhaps it is something that every factory worker does each day of their working lives -- I refer to clocking in. (Very soon probably they won't even have to do that; the clock will itself observe them by radar.) In the ancient world when a person entered a temple, each made a votive offering to a god or a goddess at the door. As twentieth century people file into their shrines, they obediently pay their due to the god that regulates their lives -- the clock. It is the clock that measures us, that silent witness that keeps our going in and our coming out and relentlessly records our every movement. That is where all our organization and machinery to free us from time, to save us time, has brought us. Never before have we had such control over things, and never before have we been so enslaved by them. And of nothing is this more true than of time.
And so we take a holiday, a vacation, to gain release from this bondage for a space, to stand back from the rush of things and breathe again. But a holiday is a respite, not a cure. The more we need holidays, the more certain it is that the disease has conquered us and not we it. More and more holidays just to get away from it all is a sure sign of a decaying civilization; it was one of the most obvious marks of the breakdown of the Roman empire. It is a symptom that we haven't learned how to live so as to re-create ourselves in our work instead of being sapped by it. A car should always be charging its battery as it runs. If it simply uses up without putting back, it has to go into dock to be recharged. It is not a sign that we are running particularly well if we are constantly needing to go into dock.
Have you ever noticed that Jesus is never recorded as taking a holiday? He retired for the purposes of his mission, not from it. He was never destroyed by his work; he was always on top of it. He moved among people as the master of every situation. He was busier than anyone; the multitudes were always at him, yet he had time, for everything and everyone. He was never hurried, or harassed, or too busy. He had complete supremacy over time; he never let it dictate to him. He talked of my time; my hour. He knew exactly when the moment had come for doing something and when it had not.