Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
The Supreme Court has never ruled that Congress can use the Commerce Clause to require individuals to engage in an activity they have chosen to avoid. Yet that is precisely what Obamacare does: It forces Americans without health insurance to purchase coverage. Such a requirement is unprecedented and unconstitutional.
You never go into a marriage expecting to get divorced. You go into a marriage expecting it's going to last forever, and you have a lot of ways you dream about the future. You have all these expectations, and then you have to adjust those expectations, and it can be a very unnerving, confusing time.
The great difficulty is first to win a reputation; the next to keep it while you live; and the next to preserve it after you die, when affection and interest are over, and nothing but sterling excellence can preserve your name. Never suffer youth to be an excuse for inadequacy, nor age and fame to be an excuse for indolence.
I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good. That's just the way it is. And if you believe that and live by it, you'd be surprised at how much fun you can have.
Our lives are fed by kind words and gracious behavior. We are nourished by expressions like excuse me and other such simple courtesies... Rudeness, the absence of the sacrament of consideration, is but another mark that our time-is-money society is lacking in spirituality, if not also in its enjoyment of life.
So in all these little ways we spin a web, a cocoon, around ourselves. The cocoon becomes nice and snug and comfortable because it is very familiar. We know every little corner of our life; we can even write poetry about it. We may also have ideas about the great mystery which religions speak of, which gives our cocoon an especial sense of security: we can worship the great mystery outside of it and feel good about that. The cocoon is safe, bounded, claustrophobic, and a little stale. We settle into it and live our lives.
To a very large extent men and women are a product of how they define themselves. As a result of a combination of innate ideas and the intimate influences of the culture and environment we grow up in, we come to have beliefs about the nature of being human. These beliefs penetrate to a very deep level of our psychosomatic systems, our minds and brains, our nervous systems, our endocrine systems, and even our blood and sinews. We act, speak, and think according to these deeply held beliefs and belief systems.
One would always want to think of oneself as being on the side of love, ready to recognize it and wish it well --but, when confronted with it in others, one so often resented it, questioned its true nature, secretly dismissed the particular instance as folly or promiscuity. Was it merely jealousy, or a reluctance to admit so noble and enviable a sentiment in anyone but oneself?